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c v. ^.Jti^i , 




■^ N 






I. Of FsomniciATioM akd | ni. Of Syntax. 

Orthografbt. I IV. Of Derivation amb 

II. Of THE Parts OF Sfeecb. ^ Comfosition. 












,-4 DM 


4Entmti in SMntfonetitf* ipalt 












Introduction •.•.•.•.•..•••.••.mmmmm*mmmm-« ix 


Of Pronunciation and Orthography. 

PART 11. 

Of the Parts of Speech M...41 

Chap. I. Of the Article id 

Chap. 11. Of Nouns. 42 

Of Gender* .., •• id 

Of Declension..........M.«*.««»*»*««—««««.—..«..«« 47 

Chap. in. Of Adjectives .• 6l 

Of Numeral Adjectives^.^......^.».»........— .....dO 

Chap. IV. Of Pronouns 68 

Chap. V. Of Verbs 72 

Formation of the Tenses ...•...•••..83 

Use and import of the Moods and Tenses 93 

Irregular Verbs. 104 

Defective Verbs 108 

lleciprocating state of Verbs • Ul 

( viii ) 

Chap. V. Impersonal use of Verbs. • 115 

Auxiliary Verbs ^ 1 17 

Chap. VI. Of Adverbs............ 1 19 

Chap. VII. Of Prepositions 126 

Idiomatic phrases.. ...•.•«•••.•..... 1 54 

Chap. VIII. Of Conjunctions 144 

Chap. IX. Of Inteijecdons...... 146 


Of Syntax 147 

Chap. I. Of Concord* id. 

Sect. 1. Of the agreement of the Article with a 

Noun 148 

Sect. 2. Of the agreement of an Adjective with 

a Noun.....................M****M ...........152 

Sect. 3. Of the agreement of a Pronoun with its 

Antecedent .^...•.. 158 

Sect. 4. Of the agreement of a Verb with its 

Nominative.................... I6I 

Sect. 5. Of the agreement of one Noun with 


dhapi. II. Of Goveminent • 166 

Sect. 1. Of the Government of Nouns.........«.*.o..l67 

Sedt. 2. Of thfe Goveriiment of Adjectives. 172 

Sfect. 3. Of the Government of Verbs............. 173 

Sect. 4. Of the Government of Adverbs id 

SfeCt. 5. Of the Government of Prepositions 174 

Sett, 0. Of the Government of Conjunctions.*M....175 



CtiAp. I. Of Derivation..................... id. 

Chap. II. Of C6mposition.......i»....M..M.M....«..... ..183 

Exercises in Reading; Scc«Mt«MMt»M«»f«ffMffHf«fOMMf**fM 191 


Jl HE Utility of a Grrammar of the Scottish Gaelic 
•will be variously appretiated. Some will be dis- 
posed to deride the vain endeavour to restore 
vigour to a decaying superannuated language. 
They who reckon the extirpation of the Gaelic a 
necessary step toward that general extension of 
the English^ which they deem essential to the 
political interest of the Highlands, will condemn 
every project which seems likely to retard its ex- 
tinction. Those who consider that there are 
many parts of the Highlands, whexe the inha- 
bitants can, at present, receive no useful know- 
ledge whatever, except through the channel of 
their native tongue, will probably be of opinion 
that the Gaelic ought at least to be tolerated. 
Yet these too may condemn as useless, if not ul- 
timately detrimental, any attempt to cultivate its 
powers, or to prolong its existence. Others will 

h entertain 


entertain a different opinion. They will judge 
from experience, as well as from the nature of the 
case, that no measure, merely of a literary kind, 
will prevail to hinder the progress of the English 
language over the Highlands ; while general con- 
venience and emolument, not to mention private 
emulation and vanity, conspire to facilitate its in- 
troduction, and prompt the natives to its acquisi- 
tion. They will perceive at the same time, that 
while the Gaelic continues to be the common 
speech of multitudes; while the knowledge of 
many important facts, of many necessary arts, of 
morals, of religion, and of the laws of the land, 
can be conveyed to them only by means of this 
language ; it must be of material service to pre- 
serve it in such a state of cultivation and purity, 
as that it may be fully adequate to these valuable 
ends ; in a word, that while it is a living language, 
it may answer the purpose of a living language. 

To those who wish for an uniformity of speech 
over the whole kingdom, it may not be imperti- 
nent to suggest one remark. The more that the 
human mind^ is enlightened, the more desirous it 
becomes of farther acquisitions in knowledge.- 
The only channel through which the rucUments 
of knowledge conveyed to the mind of a 
remote Highlander, is the Gaelic language. By 
learning to read and to understand what he reads, 
in his native tongue, an appetite is generated for 
those stores of science which are accessible to him 



xittly through the medium of the English language. 
Hence an acquaintance with the English is found 
to be necessary, for enabUng him to gratify his 
desire after further attainments. The study of 
it becomes of course an object of importance ; it 
is commenced, and prosecuted with increasing di- 
ligence. These premises seem to warrant a con- 
clusion, which might at first appear paradoxical 5 
that, by cultivating the GaeUc, you effectually, 
though indirectly, promote the study and diffuse 
the knowledge of the English. 

To public teachers it is of the highest moment, 
that the medium through which their instructions 
are communicated be properly adapted to that use, 
and that they be enabled to avail themselves, of it 
in the fittest manner. A language destitute of 
grammatical regularity can possess neither perspi- 
cuity nor precision, and must therefore be very 
inadequate to the purpose of conyeying one's 
thoughts. The Gaelic is in manifest danger of 
falling into this discreditable condition, from the 
disuse of old idioms and distinctions, and the ad- 
mission of modern corruptions, unless means be 
apphed to prevent its degenerating. It is obvious 
that a speaker cannot express himself with preci- 
sion, without a correct knowledge of grammar* 
When he is conscious of his ignorance in this re- 
spect, he must deliver himself sometimes ambigu- 
ously or erroneously, always with diffidence and 
{hesitation j whereas one, who has an accurate 



knowledge of the structure and phraseology of 
the language he speaks, will seldom fail to utter 
his thoughts with superior copfidence, energy, 
and ejOfect, 

A COMPETENT degree of this knowledge is re- 
quisite to the hearer also, to enable him to ap- 
prehend the full import, and the precise force of 
the words of the speaker. Among the readers of 
Gaelic, who are every day becoming more nume- 
rous, those only who have studied it grammatical- 
ly are qualified to understand accurately what 
they read, and to explain it distinctly to others. 
Yet it cannot be denied that, comparatively, 
few ever arrive at a correct, or even a tolerable 
Jcnowledge of gr2|,mmar, without the help of a 
treatise composed for the purpose. Whoever, 
therefore, allows that the Gaelic must be em- 
ployed in communicating to a large body of 
people the knowledge of revealed Truth and the 
way of eternal Life, will readily admit the ex- 
tensive, utility of investigating and unfolding its 
grammatical principles. Impressed with this con- 
viction, I have been induced to offer to the public 
the following attempt to develope the grammar of 
the Scottish Gaelic. 

While I have endeavoured to render this trea- 
tise useful to those who wish to improve the know- 
ledge of Gaelic which they already possess, I 
have also kept in yiew the gratification of others, 



•who do not understand the Gaelic, but yet may 
be desirous to examine the structure and proper- 
ties of this antient language. To serve both 
these purposes, I have occasionally introduced 
such observations on the analogy between the 
Gajelic idiom and that of some other tongues, 
particularly the Hebrew, as a moderate know- 
ledge of these enabled me to collect. The Irish 
dialect of the Gaelic is the nearest cognate of 
the Scottish Gaelic. An Intimate acquaintance 
with its vocables and structure, both antient and 
modern, would have been of considerable use. 
This I cannot pretend to have acquired. I have 
Bot failed however to consult, and to derive some 
^vantage from such Irish philologists as were 
accessible to me : particularly O'Molloy, O'Brien, 
Vallancey, and Lhuyd. To these very respectable 
names I havie to add th^t of the Rev. Dr Neilson, 
author of " An Introduction to the Irish Lan- 
guage," Dublin, 1808; and E. O'C. author of 
** A Grammar of the Gaelic Language," Dublin, 
1 808 J to the latter of whom I am indebted for 
some good-humoured strictures, and some flatter- 
ing compliments, which, however unmerited, it 
were unhandsome not to acknowledge. I know 
but one publication professedly on the subject of 
Gaelic grammar, written by a Scotsman ^. I 
have consulted it also : but in this quarter I have 
no obhgations to acknowledge^ 


* JiiiBlysis of the Gaelic Language, by William Shaw, A. M. 


With respect to my literary countrymen, who 
are proficients in the Gaehc, and who may cast 
an eye on this volume, less with a view to learn 
than to criticise ; while I profess a due deference 
to their judgment, and declare my anxiety to ob- 
tain their favourable suffrage, I must take the 
liberty to intreat their attention to the following 

The subject of Universal Grammar has been 
examined in modern times with a truly philoso* 
phical spirit, and has been settled on rational and 
stable principles; yet, in applying these prin- 
ciples to explain the grammar of a particular 
language, the divisions, the arrangements, and 
the rules to be given are, in a good measure, me- 
chanical and arbitrary. One set of rules may be 
equally just with another. For what is it that 
grammatical rules do ? They bring into view the 
various parts, inflections, or, as they may be term- 
ed, the phaenomena of a language, and class them 
together in a certain order. If these phaenomena 
be idl brought forward, and stated according as 
they actually appear in the language, the rules 
may be said to be both just and complete. Difl 
ferent sets of rules may exhibit the same things 
in a different order, and yet may all be equally 
^ust. The superiority seems, on a comparison, to 
belong to that system which follows most nearly 
the order of nature, or the process of the mind in 
forming the several inflections j or rather, perhaps, 



to that system which, from its simplicity, or clear 
and comprehensive arrangement, is most fitted 
to assist the memory in acquiring and retaining 
the parts of speech with their several inflections. 

In distributing the various parts of a language 
into their several classes, and imposing names on 
them, we ought always to be guided by the na- 
ture of that language ; and to guard against 
adopting, with inconsiderate servility, the distri- 
butions and technical terms of another. This 
caution is the more necessary, because, in our 
researches into the grammar of any particular 
tongue, we are apt to follow implicitly the order 
of the Latin grammar, on which we have been 
long accustomed to fix our attention, and which 
we are ever ready to erect into a model for the 
grammar of all languages. To force the several 
parts pf speech into moulds formed for the idioms 
of the Latin tongue, and to frame them so as to 
suit a nomenclature adapted to the peculiarities of 
Latin grammar, must have the efiect of disguising 
or concealing the peculiarities, and confounding 
the true distinctions, which belong to the lan- 
guage under discussion. 

Although, in treating of Gaelic grammar, the 
caution here suggested ought never to be forgot- 
ten ; yet it is lieedless to reject indiscriminately 
all the forms and terms introduced into the gram- 
mar of other languages. Where the same classi- 



fications A/^hich have been employed in the grattf-* 
mar of the Latin, or of any other well-known 
tongue, will suit the Gaelic also ; it is but a con- 
venient kind of courtesy to adopt these, and 
apply to them the same names which are already 
familiar to us^ 

In statiug the result of my resestrches into 
Gaelic grammar, I have endeavoured to conform 
ix> these general views. The field of investi- 
gation Was wide, and almost wholly untrodden* 
My task Was not to fill up or improve the plan of 
any former writer, but to form d plan for myself. 
In the several departments of my subject, that 
distribution was adopted, which, after various 
trials, appeared the most ehgible. When there 
were terms already in use in the grammars of 
other languages, that suited tolerably well the 
divisions which it was found requisite to make, I 
chose to adopt these, rather than load the treatise 
with novel or uncommon terms. If their import 
was not sufficiently obvious already, it was ex- 
plained, either by particular description, or by 
reference to the use of these terms in other 
grammars. In some instances it was found ne- 
cessary to employ less common terms; but in 
the choice of these I endeavoured to avoid the 
affectation of technical nicety* I am far from 
being persuaded that I am so fortunate as to 
have hit on the best possible plan. I am certain 
that it must be far from complete. To such 



charges a first essay must necessarily be found 
liable. Still there is room to hope that the work 
may not prove wholly useless or unacceptable. 
Imperfect as it is, I may be allowed to think I do 
a service of its kind to my countrymen, by frank- 
ly offering the fruits of my labour to such as may 
choose to make use of them. It has been, if I mis- 
take not, the misfortune of Gaelic grammar, that 
its ablest friends have done nothing directly in its 
support, because they were apprehensive that 
they could not do every thing. 

I CONFESS that my circumscribed knowledge of 
the varieties of dialect used in different parts of 
the Highlands, may have left me unacquainted 
with some genuine Gaelic idioms, which ought 
to be noticed in a work of this kind. The same 
cause may have led me to assert some things in 
too general terms, not being sufficiently informed 
concerning the exceptions which may be found 
in use, in some particular districts, I respectful- 
ly invite, and will thankfully receive, the correc- 
tion of any person, whose more accurate and ex- 
tensive information enables him to supply my 
omissions, or to rectify my mistakes. 

In a few particulars I have differed from some 
of the highest living authorities j I mean those 
gentlemen whose superior abilities are so con- 
spicuous in the masterly translation of the sacred 
Scriptures, with which the Highlands of Scotland 

c ar<» 


are now blessed *. Here I have been careful to 
state the grounds on which my judgment was 
formed. In doing this, I would always be under- 
stood to advance my opinion and propose my 
reasons, with the view of suggesting them to the 
consideration of my countrymen, rather than in 
the expectation of having my conclusions univer- 
sally sustained and adopted. 

Among my grammatical readers, it is probable 
that some may have formed tp themselves ar- 
rangements on the subject, different from mine. 
Of these I have to request, that they do not form 
a hasty judgment of the work, from a partial in- 
spection of it J nor condemn it merely because it 
may differ from their preconceived schemes. Let 
them indulge me with a patient perusal of the 
whole, and a candid comparison of the several 
parts of the system with each other. To a judi- 
cious critic, some faults and many defects may 
appear, and several improvements will occur. 
On this supposition, I have one request more to 
make ; that he join his eflforts with mine in ser- 
ving a common cause, interesting to our country, 
and dfear to every patriotic Highlander, 

* A few examples of what I conceived to be deviations from 
grammatical propriety, are given from the Gaelic Version of 
die Bible. As the translation of the Prophetical Books under- 
went a revision, the exceptionable passages in those Books have 
been changed, in the second edition^ from what they were as 
they came out of the haxids of the original translator. The cri- 
ticism op those passages is however allowed to remain in this 
edition of the Grammar; because the first edition of the Gaelic 
Prophets is still in the hands of many, and because it oden hap- 
pens that ^* we can best teach what is right by showing what is 
wrong.** Lotioth. 




In preparing a Second Edition of the following 
Treatise, the Author has endeavoured to avail him- 
self of every assistance in his power, from books, 
observation, and the communications of some li- 
terary friends, to whom he is indebted for several 
judicious remarks. In comparing the opinions 
of different critics, it was not to be expected that 
all should be found to agree together. It some- 
times happened that one approved what another 
would have rejected. If the Author has not a- 
dopted every hint that was offered him, but used 
the privilege of exercising his own judgement, 
the responsibility must rest with himself*. He 
hopes those Gentlemen, who most obligingly fa- 
voured him with their remarks, will forgive him 
for mentioning their names ; for he is unwilling 
to with-hold from the public the satisfaction ot 
knowing that he has had the best assistance which 


( XX ) 

his country could afford him, in compiling and' 
modelling his work. He thankfully acknowledg- 
es his obligations to the Rev. Dr Robertson' 
of Callender ; Dr Graham of Aberfoyle j Dr 
Stuart of Luss; Dr Macleod of Kilmarnock j 
and Mr Irvine of Little Dunkeld. 

From these sources of emendation, omissions 
have been supplied, idiomatic phrases have been 
collected and inserted, some alterations have 
been made by simplifying or compressing parti- 
cular parts, and new examples and illustrations 
have been introduced throughout, according as 
the advantages which the Author enjoyed, enab- 
led him to extend his knowledge of the language, 
and served to correct, or to confirm, his former 
judgements. He thought it might be acceptable 
to Gaelic Scholars to have a few lessons subjoin- 
ed, as exercises in translating and analysing. 
For this purpose he has selected some specimens 
of original prose composition, extracted from un- 
published manuscripts, and from the oldest Gae- 
lic books that are known to be extant. These 
specimens, short as they are, may suffice to exhi- 
bit som^hing of the powers and elegances of the 
language in its native purity, unmixed with fo- 
reign words and idioms ; as well as to shew the 
manner in which it was written two or three cen- 
turies ago. 

The present Edition owes its existence to the 

generous patronage of Sir John Macgregor 

Murray of Lanrick, Bart, to Miiom the Author 


( xxi ) 

is happy in avowing his obligations for tlie un« 
solicited and liberal encouragement given him in 
the execution and publication of his work. To 
the same Gentleman he is indebted for the ho- 
' Hour of being permitted here to record the names 
of those patriotic sons of Caledonia, who in con- 
cert with the honourable Baronet, and at his sug- 
gestion, though residing in the remote provinces 
of India, yet mindful of their country's fame, con- 
tributed a liberal sum of money for promoting 
Celtic literature, more especially for publishing 
the Poems of Ossian, in their original language. 
It is owing, in a principal degree, to their muni- 
ficent aid, that the anxious expectation of the 
public has been at last so richly gratified by Sir 
John Sinclair's elegant and elaborate edition of 
the poems of that tender and lofty bard. 

Names of the Gentlemen referred to above. Those whose Names 

are marked thus *, are noiv dead. 

Sir John Macgregor Murray of Lanrick, Bart. 

♦ Kenneth Murchison, Esquire, of Tarradale. 
» Colonel John Macpherson. 

♦ Major General Patrick Duff. 
Major Alexander Macdonald of Kishurn. 

♦ Major General Robert Stuart. 

♦ Lieutenant John Macgregor. 

John Mackenzie, Esquire, Military Paymaster General, Bengal 

( xxii ) 

* Colonel Peter Mac^gregor Marray, Adjutant General^ Bengal. 
Colonel Allan Macpherson of Blairgowrie. 

* Captain Normanr Macleod of Ullinish. 

* Lieutenant James Sinclair, Senior. 
Major Alexander Orme. 

* Lieutenant John Stewart, of the Artillery. 
Lieutenant P. Grant. 

* William Mcintosh, Esquire. 

* Captain Robert McGregor. 

* Robert Macfarlane, Esquire. 
Colonel Alexander Park. 


William Pope, Esquire. 

* William Ross, Esquire. 

* Captain Robert Stewart, of Castle Stewart. 

* William Williams, Esquire. 
Colonel Alexander Macdonald L3mdail. 

* James Eraser, Esquire. 

* John Stewart, Esquire, Surgeon. 

* Captain John Macgregor Murray, of the Bombay Navj^ 

* Captain Daniel Macgregor, of Inverarderan. 
John Burrel, Esquire. 

* Bernard Maccallum, Esquire. 

* Lieutant D. Macpherson. 
Phlnehas Hall, Equire. 

Colonel Robert Macgregor Murray. 

* Mr. Patrick Macintyre. 
Major Donald Macleod. 

* Lieutenant John Urquliart. 
Major General John Macdonald. 

* James Grant, Esquire, of Red Castle. 

* Lieutenant Dugald Campbell, 73d Regiment. 
Colonel Spens, - - do. 

* Captain John Macleod, Luskintir. 

Walter Ross Munroe, Esquire, Member of the Medical Board, 

. Bengal. 
Colonel John Macintyre, 

( xxiii ) 

Major General Dugald Campbell. 
Major General Sir Ewen Baillie, Knight. 
Thomas Cockburn^ Esquire^ M. P. 
Major General Archibald Brown. 

* Captain Lauchlan Mackinnon. 

John Tullochy Esquire^ Mayor of Madras, 

* Lieutenant Charles Macalister. 
Major General Keith Macalister. 

* Lieutenant Alexander Grant. 

* Lieutenant John Macrae. 

* Lieutenant Alexander Macleod. 
Major Alexander Macleod. 

* Lieutenant P. Stewart. 
Major Malcolm Macleod, 
Lieutenant James Sinclair, Junior. 




P^. S. lin. 10. for words ; read word ; 

— — 17. — 3. of Note (p,) dele some. 

51. — 22. far crlch read criche. 

71 — - 17 *l 

jg I place the mark of reference ^j:^ after 

I o' I ^^9 instead of being aflter the rest. 
182. lin. 2. of Note (x)for 'Zetfut^m^ read X»ft»^ct. 






JL HE Gaelic alphabet confifts of eighteen letters : a, b^ c, 
df Cj f, g, h, 1, 1, m|Hi, Of p, r, s, t, u. Of thefe, five are 
vowels, a, c, i, o, u ; the reft confonants. 

In explaining the powers of the iett6r$j ai)d of their fe- 
veral i:otnbinations^ fuch obftacles lie in the Vrdj, that 
complete fuccefs is not to be expefted. In order to ex* 
{4ain, in tenting, the founds of a particular language, the 
only obvious method is to reprefent them by the letters 
commonly employed to exhibit fimilar founds in fome 
well-known living language. But there are founds in the 
Gaelic, to which there are none* perfectly fimllar in Eng- 
lifh^ nor perhaps in any modem European tongue. Be« 
fides, the fame combination of letters does not invariably 
reprefent the fame found, in one age, that it did in a for- 
mer, or that it may do in the next. And this may 
be equally true of the letters of the Gaelic alphabet, 

A wliofe 


whofc powers arc to be taught 5 and of the letters of any 
other language, by whofe fotlnds the powers of the former 
are to be explained. A diverlity of pronunciation is very 
diftinguifhable alfo in diflferent diftrifts of the Highlands of 
Scotland^ even in uttering the fame words written in the 
iame manner. Though the powers of the letters then 
may be explained to a certain degree of accuracy, yet niuch 
will ftill remain to be learned by the information of the ear 

Although the chief ufe of the vowels be to rcprefent the 
vocal founds of fpeech, and that of the confonants to repre- 
fent its articulations; yet as in many languages, fo in Gaelicy 
the confonants fometimes ferve to modify the found of the 
vowels with which they arc combined ; while, on the other 
hand, the vowels often qualify the found of the confonants 
by which they are preceded or followed. 

It may not appear obvious at firft iight^ how a vowel 
ihould be employed, not to reprefent a vocal found, but to 
modify an articulation. Yet examples are to be found in 
modern languages. Thus in the Englifh words, * George, 
^ fergeant,' the e has no other effect than to give g its foft 
found ; and in ' gueft, guide/ the u qply ferves to give g its 
hard found. So in the Italian worels ^ giorno, giufto,' and 
many others^ the i only qualifies the found of the preceding 
confonant. The fame ufe of the vowels will be fcen to take 
place frequently in Gaelic orthography. 

Befide the common divifion of the letters into vowels an4 
confonants, it is found convenient to adopt fome further 

The vowels are divided into broad and fmalL A, o, u^ 
are called br$ad vowels *, e, i, fmall vowels. 

The confonants are divided into Mutes and Liquids : 
Mutes, b, c, d, f, g, m, p, t. Liquids, 1, n, r, s (a). They 


(a) It will immedirtely occur to any grammarian that there 
is a slight difference befween this and the common division into 



ar« alfo divided into Labia/s, Pa/aialfj and Linguals : fo 
named from the organs employed in pronouncing them : 
Lahiats, b, f, m, p : Palatals^ c, g : Linguals^ d^ 1, n,' r,- s> t. 
The afpii^te h is not itiduded in any of theie divi- 
fions (Ji). 


All the vowels are fometimes long, fometimes fhort; 
jAl long vowel is often marked witb an accent, efpecially 
"^hen the quantity of the vowel determines the meaning 
<^f the words ; as * has' deaths * sail* the heel, * ciraid* a pair, 
* rts agmn^ * mo' tnore, * Ion* a marjb ; which are diftinguifh- 
cd by the accent alone from ' has* the ptdm of the hand, 
* fail' a beam, * C2jnXd* a friend^ ^ ris' to^ * Ion' the elk. 

All the vowels, but efpecially the broad ones, have fome- 
what of a nafal found when preceded or followed by m> mh^ 
n^nn. No vowels are doubled in the fame fyllablie like 
1^ (w^ an Engliih* In 

mutes and liquidf^ by the letter m being removed from the class 
of liquids to that of mutes. This is not an oversight^ but an in- 
tentional arrangement \ as the accidents oi the letter m are, in 
Gaelic, the same with those of the mute, hot of the liquid conso- 
lumts. For aiike reason, s is inpluded in the class of liquids. 

(h^ Writers, who have touched on this part of Gaelic Gram- 
Bar, following- the Irish grammarians, have divided the conso- 
nants mrtherinto mutable and immutable. The former name has 
been given to consonants which, in writing, have been occasion* 
ally combing with the letter b \ and the latter name to thos9 
consonants which have not, in .writing, been; combined with k*- 
Sut, in £act, both classes ojF consonants are alike mutable in their 
pronunciation ^ and their mutation ought to have been marked in 
the orthography, though it has not. This defect in Gaelic or- 
thography has been often observed and regretted, though it hat 
never been corrected^ Rather than continue a distinction which 
has no foundation in the structure of the language, I venture ^ 
discard the division of mutable and immutable consonants^ as not 
merely useless, but as tending to mislead the learner. 

^c) In explaining the sounds of the letters I have availed 
snyself of the very correct and acute remarks on this 8uhject| 
ftnneved to the Gaelic Version of the New Test. 1767. 

4 OF PBONUNCiATioN [Part !• 

. .\ In . almaft all poljCjWMes, exceptmg fcHne words €o«i- 
pQuoded with a prepa&ion, the accent fklls on the firft iyt« 
lable*. (^d) . The other fylkUes are fhort and unaccet^£ie4. ; 
aiujitho Towels in that fituafeton havey in genersd» the f^e 
ihort obfcure found. Hence it happens that the bfcitti 
vowels^ in thefe fyllables, are often ufed indifcriminately. 
There arer no quieicent final vowel?. 


A baB three feuodst 

I. ' The firft 1% both long and fhort ; lon^, like a. in tlie 
Engliih woirds fsr^ Jhr ; as V ar' Jlaugher^ ' ath' a fordy 
' ^Mh' hv€^ * saruich^ (^^ ; fhort> like a iJXihaL*^ as- 
< ca£h' a-hatOe^ < alt* a jomti ^ abisich' ript* 

2* l^th long and ihort, before dh and gh. This found 
has none like it in Engliih. Long ; as ^ adhbbar' a eaufe, 
^ adhr^dV 'vmJUpy Ihort v as f lagh^ a law, ^ magh' zfaU^ 
'adhairc^ a^bozn* . 

3. Short and obfcure, like e in mother ^ as ^ an^ra / ihi^ 

* ar' our, ' ma' if, and in the plural termination ' a' or * an*. 

J^ has three founds. 

X. Both long and ihort : long, like e in 'where, there i as 

* i, se* he, • re** during. This ^ is generally marked with 
a arave accent, i^ort, like e in met $ as * le' wi/A^ ^ Icth*' 

2; Long V aa *r re' the iwopii * c$' the «jrtA, ^ an- de* 

yefierdaf. This > is comnu>nly marked with an acute accent^ 

' 3. Short, like « in mother s as * duine* a mau, * ceann- 

^i{;hte* bought, I 

(d) If it be thought Aat this renders the language too mono- 
tonoos; it may be observed,, on the other hand, that it prevents 
ambiguities and obscurities in rapid speaking, as the accent 
marks the initial syllable, of •polysyllables. Declaimers, of ei- 
l^t sex, b^ve dftef^ fbfund fheir advantage in this circumstance. 




ihas two founds. 

1. Both long and ihort, Kke ee hx^fsem : k>og ; as ' mhi' 
Jmotif > righ' a lingi ihoit v as * min' naa/, *■ orith' trem" 

2, Short and obfcure, like i in- this; as ^ is^ am, arf^ &c» 


O has three found3* * 

K Both loDg and fbort : loHsg, fomewhat Uke « ki 
more ; as * mor' great, * os* goldp, * djochas' ixpeH^Hbp;: 
fborti li)x m ^/ as ^ mo' my, ^ do' thyy * docl^ann' 

^ Both long aoj4 won;: longt ne^trly like o]pi$ldj as 

• lorn' ^^?r^, * toll' a hole : fhort ; as * lomadh* making hqr^j^ 

• tolladh' boring* 

. 3« Both k>^ and. Qiort, IUelc Cx) a f * ^S> ^ ^ fpg^* 
lum' to lear»i ihoart;^ as ^ rogl^uinn' choife^ < logh* tofirf^vi^ 


,U has one feand^ both long and ihort, like ^ wfiol: 
long ; as * Ar'^rg^,/ uraich' jfa r^n^ty : iho|t i a& * ubh* ^ii» 
^,, * urras' afurriy^ t 

• ■• ■ t.' 


. .'■. - . . r 

- • . \ - ^ 

. r There are thirteen Diphthongs reckoned in Gaelic ^ d/^ 
ai) ao *, ea, ei, eo> eu ; ia;, io, iu ; 0£ ; ua, ui* Of t|iei^ 
^Pi eU| ia, ua, are always long : the otherr are {(Knetmics 
long> fometimes fhort* .. > ., 

The found of ae is made up of ( i ) /i long, and (i ) ^ fhort. 
*nii& Dtpfathc»[ig< hardly occurs, except in * Gaei'/jl;^ GiiW or 
Highlander i and * Gaelic' the Gaelic language, (f) ■' 


(e) That is the second sound assigned to a. 
Cf) The plural of * la* or * latha* a day^ is sometimes written 
. * lacth' J 



The found of «i is either made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like that of the former. 

1. Made up of (i^ ^ and (i) i : the s long, the i fhort ; 
as * faidh' a prophet ; the a fhort, the i Ihort ; as ' claidh- 
eamh' afword* 

2. Made up of (2) a and (i) i ; the a long, the i fliort ; 
as * faighde' arrows. 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the f often 
lofes its found, and only ferves to qualify the found of the 
following confonant (gj. Hence, 

3. Like (i) tf alone; long; as ' faifg' fqueeze, * failtc* 
falutation : fhort j as * glaic' a hollow, * tzxs fift* 

4. Like (2) a alone : fhort ; as ^ airin' arms^ ^ gairm' a 

I. The found of ao is like (2) a: long, as ^ caora* a 
Jbeep^ * faobhar' the edge of a tool, ^ faothair labour. 

The found of ea is either made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like that of one of them. 

1. Made up of (2) e and (i) flf : e very fhort, a long j 
as * beann' a fummit, pinnacle, * feall' deceit : a fhort \ as 
* meal' to enj^y^ * fpcal' afcythe. 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the a fre- 
quently lofes its found, and only qualifies that of the fol- 
lowing confonant. Hence, 

2. Like (i)^ * long, as * dean' do ; fhort, as ^ fear' # 
man^ * bean' a nvoman. 

\ 3. Like 


^laeth* ^^t|Xt it is doubtfiil how far this is a proper mode of 
writing it. 

/g^ The effect of the Vowels in qualifying the sound of the 
adjoining Consonants will be explained in treating of the Palatals 
and Linguah. 

Part L] AMl> ORTHOOBAPHir. 7 

3« Like (a) e: long, as ^ tdSimJich; {Haott, as ' fi^' 


After a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the e lofes 
its founds and only qualifies that of the preceding conib^ 
nant; henize, 

4« Like (j) a: long, as * ceard' an artificer i Ihort, as 

* gear nvhite. 

5. Like (3) a : {hort, as * itheadh' fating, * coireach^ 


The found of ei is ekher made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like that of e alone* 

1. Madeupof (i)^and (i)i; ^long, fihort,as ^ fgeimh^ 
heauty ; e fhort, as ^ meidh' a balance. 

2. Made up of (2) e and (l) « : e long, i (hort, as ' feidh' 
d^^y ^ fhort, as * greigh' a herd^Jlud. 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the i loiet 
its found, and only qualifies that of the following confbnant ; 

3. Like (l) ^ alone ; long, as * meife' of a plate. 

4* Like (2) ^ alone: longi as eigin' necejftty ; jQiort, as 

* eich' horfesm 

The found of eo is either made up of the founds of both 
Towels, or like that of alone. 

1. Made up of (2) e and (i) 0: e very fhort, long, as 
' hto alivcy ^ eolas' knowledge ; (hort, as ^ beothail' lively. 

After » Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the e lofes its 
found, and only qualifies that of the preceding confonant ; 

2. Like (l) 0: long, as * leomhann' a /w« ; fhort, as 

* deoch' drink. 

The found of eu is like (2) e alone \ long, as ^ teum' to 
*//#, ' gleus^ trim, entertainn>eht* 

■ * 


8 OF PKOIf UNCIATiei^ [Pait !• 

Ont of the tnoft marked variations of Dialed ogcuhs in 
the pronunciation of the diphthong eu s which, instead «f 
being pronounced like long e^ is over all the North High- 
lands commonly pronounced like isi zs * nial^ ian, fiar fof 

* neul, eun, feur.' • 

The found of ia is made up of the founds of botb the 

I, Made up of (i) i and (i) a ; both of equal length, 
as * fial' liberaly * iar' nveji^ 

X. Made iip of (i) i and (2) a: of equal length, as 

* £adh^ a deer^ * ciall' common fenfe. 

In * cia' ivbich? * iad' they : ia is often ftnmd like (i) ^• 


The found of io is either made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like one of them alone. 

I.- Made up of (1) 1 and (3) 9: i long, (hort, as ' diol' 
to pay^ ' fior' true ; i fhort, as ' iolach' 2ijhduty ' ionnfuidh' 
an attack. 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the fome- 
times lofes its found, and only qualifies that of the follow- 
ing confonant ; hence, 

a. Like (t) i : long, as * iodhol' an idol ; Ihort, as * crios' 
a girdle^ ' biorach pointed* 

After a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefceftt, the i fome- 
timcs lofes its found, juid'only qiialifies that of the preceding 
conibhant*, hence, 

3. Like u in fan^ (hort and obfcure, as * cionta' guilty 

* tiondadh' to turn* 

The found of iu is either made up of the found of botii 
the vowels, or like u alone. 

I. Made up of (1) i and (i) u ; i fliort, u long, as ' fiu' 
v^orthy; « fhort, as ' iu chair' -a key^ - ♦ 

After a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefccnt, the i lofes its 
' -^ found 


found) and only qualifies that of the prece^ng confonant ; 

2. Like (i) u : long^ as ' diu' nuorft part, refufe ; fhort^ 
as * tiugh' thicky ' giuthas'^r. 


The found of oi is either made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like that of o alone* 

1. Made up of (i) o and (i) i: o long, i fhart^ as ^ oigh' 
2l virgin; e? fliort, as * troidh' ayfcf- 

2. Made up of (3) and (l) l: long, i fhort, as ^ oidhche' 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the i lofes Its 
Ibund, and only qualifies that of the following confonant ; 

3. Like (l) o^y long, as * mbid* more ; &ort, as * toic* 

4. Like (2) : long, as * foid* a turf; Ihort, as * fois' 
reft. ; ' 

5. Like (3) 0: fbprt, as ' coileach' ^ cock, ^ doirc* a 

. t • • r 


The found oi ua v& made up <Gf the founds of both the 
ji^owels* 1 

1. Made up of (l) u and (i) tf : equally long, as • cuan' 
tht/eoj * fuar' cold, 

2. Made up of (i) u and (2) a; 2b^ tuadh' a hatcbety 
*. fluagh' people. 


The found of ui b either made up of the founds of both 
the vowels, or like that of u alone. 

I. Made up of ^i) u and (1) i: u long, i fliort, as * fiiigh* 
cag* a raj^berry; u fhort, as *huidheann* a company. 

Before a Lingual or a Palatal, not quiefcent, the i lofes 
its found, and only qualifies that of the following confonant \ 

14 2. Like 

10 OF PRONUNCiATiojf [Part I. 


2. Like (i) u : long, as * duil' expe^ation^ * cuig* ^ve ; 
ihort, as *'fuil' bloody * muir' the fea. 


There arc five Triphthongs, in each of which i is the 
laft letter ; aoi, eoi, iai, iui, uai. In thefe, the two firft 
vowels have the fame founds and powers as when they 
form a Diphthong. The final i is founded fhoit i but 
before a Palatal or a Lingual, not ^juiefcent, it loies its 
founds and only qualifies that of the following confonaiit* 

!• Made up of ao and (i) i : as ^ caoidh' lamenfatian^ 
* aoibhneas' y^^ * laoigh' calves^ 

2« Like o^; as * caoineadh' wailing^ ^ maoile' baidnefs^ 

!• Made up of (2) eo and (l) (. as * geoigh* geefe. 
2. Like (l) eo ; as * mcovc* Jingers, 
3; Like (2) eo : as * deoir* iears^ ^ treoir^ abUky^ 

I* Like (l) ia: as * fiaire* more awry, ' 

Ik Like (^2) tu ; as ^ ciuil' rfmufic^ ^ fliuiche' more wet. 

\j» Made up of (1} ua und (i) i; as ^ luaitbe' quicker. 
2. Made up of (2) ua and (i) 1; as * cruaidh' hard^ 
* fvLvioi* found* 

3* LUu (i) iMi; as ^ uair^ //W^ an hour, ^ duaife' ofar^ 




• ■ 

The fixnple powers of the conibnants di£fer not much 
fix)xn their powers in Englifh. Thofe called mediae by the 
writers on Greek grammar, viz. b^ d, gj approach nearer in 
force to the correfponding tenuei py t^ c^ than they do in 

In accented fyllables, where, if the vocal found be fhort, 
the voice neceflarily refts on the fubfequent articulation ; the 
confonants, though written finglci are pronounced with the 
fame degree of force as when written double in Englifh ; as 
^ bradan' a falmon^ * cos* the foot ; pronounced * braddan, 
cofs.-* No confbnants are written double except /, «, r. 

A propenfity to afpiration is a confpicuou3 feature in the 
Gaelic tongue* (g) The afpirating of a confonant has 
been ufually marked, in the Irifh dialed^ by a dot over the 
letter afpirated; in the Scottifh dialedt, by writing h after it. 
All the confonants have their found changed by being af- 
pirated ; and the edeA is different on different confonants. 
In fome cafes the articulation is changed, but ftill formed 
by the fame organ* In others^ the articulation is formed 
by a different organ. In others, the h alone retains its 
power. And fometimes both the h^ and the confonant to 
which it is fubjoined, become entirely quiefcent. 

In treating of the confonants feparately, it will be conve- 
nient to depart a little from the alphabetical order of the 
letters, and to tonfidcr firfl the Labials^ next the Palatals^ 
and laftly the Lingua//* 


(g) This propensity is seen in the aspirating of consonants in 
Gaelic words, which have an evident affinity to words in other^ 
languages, where the same consonants are not so aspirated. The 
following list will sufficiently illustrate and confirm the truth of 
this remark. 




[Part I 


I. Plaiir. Like p in Englifh^ as * poll' a pool^ * pill' return. 

2« Afpi* 

■■■0ir^ek» .. 






Scri^o * 

Scriobh, write. 

Ferris * 

Fiabhras, 2l fever* 


BacboU, a straffs 


Deicb, ten. 


Luireach, a coat of mail. 


Clciteach, a clerh* 


Modh, manner. 


Claidbeamb, a sword* 


Cridbc, the heart. 


Meadhon, middle. 


Luadhy mention. 


Leugb, read. 


Greigh, a herd. 


Righ, a king. 


Plaigh, a plague. *. 


Saighead, an arrow. 


Maigbistir, master. 


lomhaigb, an image. 


Priomb, chief. 


R^mb, zn oar. .\ ' 


Sambuil, like. 


Umbal, humble. 


Gabbar, a goat^ 


Matbairy mother. 


Rotb, Ratb, a wheel. 


Mutb, change. 


It is probable tbat tbe consonants, tbus aspirated, were pro. 
nounced without aspiration in tbe older dialects of tbe Celtic 
tongue J for we are told tbat * in tbe Irish manuscripts of the 
* first class for antiquity^ the consonants are or tbe most part 

* written 

* So in French, from Aprilis, Avrilis; Habere, Avoir ; Fe« 
bris, Fievre : ET*rjt«9rd^, Eveque. 

Part L] 



1 aoi (1) ao (l) i 

2 aoi (l) ao 

1 eoi (2) CO (1) i- 

2 eoi (1) CO 

3 eoi (2) eo 
1 iai (1) ia 

1 iui (2) iu . 

1 uai (1) ua (1) i 

2 uai (2) ua (1) i 

3 uai (1) ua 

1 p pdrt 

2 ph Philip 

1 b boil 

2 bh vile 

1 m my 

2 mh 

1 f feel 

2 fh quiescent 

1 c cock 

2 c kick 

3 ch j^v^a 
" 4 ch x**f^* 

1 g 

2 g 

3 gh 

4 gh you 

5 gli quiescent 



* caoidh' lamentation* 

^ caoin' mi/c2y ^ saoil' to think* 

* geoigh' gee^e. . 

* meoix' fingers. 
' deoir' tears, 

' fiaire' mor^ oblique. 

* criil* of music. 

' luaithe' quicker. 
. ' cruaidh' Aarcf^ ^ fuaim' sound, 
' ghiais' to move, ^ uw* time, 


' poll' a pool, * streap* to climb, 
' phiir returned, 

* baile' a tozm, ^ breab' to kick. 
' bhuail' struckf ' gabh' to take, 
' m6r' great, * anani, /j/i, 50w/. 

' mhothuich' perceived, ^ danih' an ox, 
^m to fold. 
' f heara' O men. 



* can' ^0 .sflj/, s/wg', ^ creid' ^^ believe. 
' ceann' cwrf, Aearf, ' reic' to sell. 

' chaidh' «:?ew^, ' rach' go, 

* chi' shall see, * crlche' if a bonmlari/^ 
gabhWo take, * rng'- stiff. 

* geinne* a zcedge, * ruig' to reach. 
^ ghabh' took, * gb?eidh' kept. 

' gheibh' zcill get. 

<'righ' ^ W;/g; * sKxngV people. 




[Part I. 

tog' to raise, ' slat' ii rod. 
tinn' sick, * iJte' a place* 
thainig' came, 

maith' good, * f 2^th' cfccasion* 
doV going, * dragh' trouble. 
diom' resentmenty * maide' a s^icAr. 
dhall' b/^Vir^. J 

dhearc' looked. • 

radh' saying, ' bu^ladh' threshing. 
sannt* desire, * sloe' a jwY. 
s^irah' gentle, * so' f/«5 
shuidh' 5a;, * shaoil' thought. 
I4b|' ftare, ' slat' a rod, ' moIF chaff. 
llafif a» age, ' caillte' Zo5f . 
blAth' blossom, * shlanukh' healed. 
leum' leaped, * shleamhiiuicli''s/^)ped. 
crann' a tree, ^ naomb' holy, * aaisg' 

seinn to sing, * nigk' wash. 
fan' ^0 stay, * oaisg' bound. 
coin' rfogs, ^ nigh' washed. 
fearr' ie^/er, < righ' a A/wg, ' ruith' 

fear' a man, * ruith' ran. 
fir' men, ' a righ' O king, ' treoir* 


There is no doubt that the Gaelic has been, for many 
ages, a written language. It is equally certain that its or- 
thog-raphy, since it was first connnitted to writing, has un- 
dergone considerable changes. In this respect, it has shared 
the common fate of all written languages. 

In the first exhibition of the sounds of a living language, 
by alphabetical characters, it is probable that the principle 


1 t 

tone ' 

2 t 

chin * 1 

3 th 

have ' 

4 th 

quiescent * 

1 d 

done * 

2 d 

join ' 

•3 dh 

(3)gh ' 

4 dh 

(4) gh 

5 dh 

quiescent ' 

1 9 

so * 

e S ^ 

Aow * 

3 sh 

how * 

1 1 

£ 1 

million ^ 

3 1 

look * 

4 1 

believe ' 

1 n 

t H 


opinion * 

3 n 

no * 

4 n 

near * 

1 r 

• roar * 

2 r 

rear ' 

3 r 



2. Afpirated. Like phot fxn Englifh ; as * a' phuiU' ^ 

ihepooly * phill* returned (h): 



1. Plain. Like b in Englifh : as * baile' a towrtj * beo' o/fw. 

2. Afpirated. Like v in Englifh j as * bhuail^ Jiruck. 
In the end o^ a fyllable, the articulation is fometimcs 
feeble, and often paiTcs into the vocal found of u (ij ; as 


* written without any mark of aspiration/ See LbuyiPj ArcbaeoU 
Brit. p. sol. Coi, 1. 

The tendency to attenuate the articulations shows itself in a 
progressive state, in a few vocables which are pronounced with 
an aspiration in some districts, but not universally. Such are 

* deatach* or * deathach^ smoke^ * cuntart' or * cunthart' danger, 

* ta' or * tha' am, art, * tu* or ' thu* thou, * troimh' or * throimh* 
through^ • tar' or * thar' over, * am beil* or • am bheir is there ? 

* dom' or domh' tm. me, &c. Has not this remission or suppres- 
sion of the articulations the effect of enfeebling the speech, by 
mollifying its bones, and relaxing its nerves ? Ought not there- 
fore the progress of this corruption to be opposed, by retaining 
unaspirated articulations in those instances where universal prac- 
tice has not entirely superseded them, and even by restoring^ 
them in some instances, where the loss of them has been attended 
with ipanifest inconvenience ? It is shameful to see how many 
monosyllables, once distinguished by their articulations^ have in 
process of time, by dropping these articulations, come to be re- 
presented by the solitary vowel a ; to the no small confusion of 

' the language, and embarrassment of the reader. The place of 
the absent consonant is often supplied indeed in writing, by an 
apostrophe. This however is, at best, but an imperfect and pre- 
carious expedient. 

(^h) Ph is found in no Gaelic word which is not inflected, ex- 
cept a few words transplanted from the Greek or the Hebrew, in 
which fb represents the Greek ^, or the Hebrew Jd. It might' 
perhaps be more proper to represent i)hj fi rather than fih ; and 
t# represent ^ by^^ as the Italians have done in Jilosqfia, JUolo^ 
gia, &c. by which sosae ,ambiguities and anomalies in declension 
Tvould be avoided. 

Q) The affinity between the sounds of v and u is observable 
in many languages, particularly in the Hebrew, Greek, and 


in * marbh^ (k) dead, * garbh* rough, * dabhach' a vat* 

• M. 

!• Plain. Like tn in Englifh^ as 'mac' a fin, * cam' 

2* Afpirated. Somewhat like v in Engli{h, but more 
feeble and nafal ; as ' mhathair' O mother, ^ lamh' the hand. 
The found mh has the fame relation to that of bh^ as the 
found of m has to that of b> Sometimes, like bh it becomes 
a vocal found like a nafal u ; as in ^ damh' an ox, *' famhradh' 
fummer ; and fometimes the articulation becomes so feeble 
as not to be perceived \ as ' comhradh' j^^r^» ' domhainn' 


t. Plain. Like /in Englifh; as * faigh' to get ^ * foid' a 

2. Afpirated. Qi^iefcent; as ^ fheara' men. In 
' f huair' found, the ^piration is retained, and the word is 
pronounced as if written huair. It is probable that it was 
originally written and pronounced * fiiair' (I) : that * huair' 
is but a provincial pronunciation (m) ; and that to adapt 
the fpelling, in fome fhape, to this pronunciation, the word 
came to be written * f huain* 


In treating of the Diphthongs (ai, ea, ei, &c.) notice has 
been often taken of the powers of certain vowels in modi- 

(k) Agreeably to the like pronunciation, the Welch write this 
word marv}, the Manks marroo. 

(I) It is still pronounced * fuair' in the northem Highlands, 
and it is so written in Irish. See Irish Bible, Gen. xxxv. 18, X9* 
John ii. 14. viii. 62, 53. 

(m) So * fathast' yety * fein' self are in some places pronoun- 
ced as if they began with an b instead of an^*. The latter word 
is, by the Manks, written * hene.' 


fying. the found of the adjoining Consonants. This refers 
to a twofold mode of pronouncing the Palatal and lingoaC 
Confoaants, whether plain or afpiraitd^. The difierence be- 
tween thefe two modes of pronunciation is, in fome Confb- 
nants, abundantly firiking ; in others it is minute, but fu£B- 
ciei^tly difcemible to an ear accuftomed to the Gaelic. The 
one of thefe modes of articulation belongs to Palatals and 
Linguals^ chiefly when conncf^ with a bfoadwowel s.Htit 
other belongs to them when conneAed with zfmaU vo^oeL 
Hence, the former may be called the hnad found, the latter 
ihtfmall found of a Palatal or a Linpud. 

Thefe fbonds ^e not difiinguifhed in writing, but may 
be known, for the moft part, by the relative fituation of the 


I* Plain* Broad: like r. En come^ curb^ as ' cM* the 
backy ^ crid W the hairU 

2. Small: like c in C9n^ cur$; as ' taac fi^fmti * circc* 

3. Afpirated'; 

(^n^ Over a considerable part of the Highkods, that pfop^ii^ 
rity to aspiration, which has been already remarked, has affixed 
to r, in the end of a word, or of an accented syllable, the sojund 
a^'Cic; as * mac' a son, * torb* a hoar, * acain* moaning; pro- 
ocNi^ltied tifVen ^ taachc, torchc, achcain.' 

: iThtre is reason to believe Aat this compound sound of cbt 
was not known of old, but is a modem corruption. For 

This prtmunoiation is not universal over ihe Highlands. In 
same parts, the c retains its proper sound m all situationSi 

If die articulation in qvestton had, from the first, been eom^ 
poaaded, it » highly probable ^hat it would have been t&pt^ 
sented, in writing, by a combination of letters, such as cbc^i tMoih 
cifltlly as we find that the same sound is represented at omir 
tinesi not by a single oonsbfumt, but by a combination, as in the 
case of cbd. Why should it be thought that * hoc' a imck, and 
* bochd' poor, were originally pronounced alike, when they are 
distinguished both in writing and signification ? 

The word pv a sack, has been tran^anted firom the Hebrew 
intp BMny languages, among the Mi the Gaelic, wheiUit has 



3. Alpirated. Broad: like the Greek Xj ^ pronounced 
ih Scotland, in X^f * * ^ * croch' to hang, * chaidh' went. 

4, Small: like x i^ X'^'' > ^ * q\x!l Jballftey * eich' /joiy^^. 


1. Plain. Broad: like ^ in go^ rogue \ as ^ gabh' to take^ 
' ^ot fpeechy • hog fofi. 

2. Small: like ^ in giv^, fatigue; as ' gin' /^ produce, 
f thigjball come, * tilg* /© throw* 

3. Afpirated. Broad : has no found like it in Englifh; 
^ ghabh* /(?^i, ^ ghleidh- kept, 

4. Small: Nearly like ^ 10 j^/i^: zb ^ ^v^ produced. 

5. 6i& in the end of a fyllable, is often quiefcent \ as 
' righ* a king, * tiugh* thichy fuigheall* remainder. 

. :T. 

I. Plain* Broad: nearly like / in tone, bottom; as ^ togf 
tora^e, * tronx* ^Aitry, * br^t' a covering. 

2* Small : like ^^ in ^£^^i&, choofe ; as ^ tinn'^l, ^ caiUt^' 

3. Afpirated. Like £ In .£01^; as ' ibig Jball come, 
* throifg' y^^rf, ^ maith' good. 

4. ^iefcent; in the middle of a polyfyllable 5 in the 
f^4 of a long f^llable \ and iq certain tenfes of a few irre- 
gular verbs when preceded by <f ; as * fhitheach' (0) watery, 


been always written * sac,' although now pronounced * sachc* 
In none of the other languages in miich the word is used, (ex- 
cept the Welch alone,) has the final palatal been aspirated. It 
woiiild appear therefore that the sound ^ sachc' is a departure 
firom the original Gaelic pronunciation. The same change may 
have happened in the pronunciation of other words, in which 
the plain c is now aspirated, though it may not have been so 

(0) Though tb be quiescent in the middle of a polysyllable, 
over the north and central Highlands ; yet it is, with more pro- 
priety, pronounced, in the west Highlands, as an aspiration ', as 
' athair* father j ^ matfaanas' pardon^ pronounced * a*hair, maii^ 

Part L] 



^ sW peace, * an d' thug e ? dUbeghe? alfo in the Pro- 
uoun * thufa' thou. 


T* Pl^. Broad: nearly like d in done ; as * dol' g^gf 
* dlu' near^ clofe, * ciod' ^hat. 

2. Small: like J in J^«/i^, jewel ; as * diu' refufey * maidc* 
eijlickf * surdc' A^|^£/. 

i^^ after ^£, is commonly fpmided like c^ as * bochd' 
/^^, pronounced as if written ' bochc' (f). 

^. Aipirated. 

C^^ I am informed that this pronunciation of cbd is not uni- 
Tersal ^ but that in some districts, particulat ly the East High- 
lands, the d has here, as in some other places, its proper lingual 
sounds. In many, if not all the instances in which ri&i/ occurs, 
the ancient Irish wrote ct. This spelling corresponds to that 
of some foreign words that have a manifest afRnity to Gaelic 
words of the same signification } which, it is therefore presuma- 
ble, were all originally pronounced, as they were written, with- 
out an aspiration ; such as, 


0/d French. 


Noct-u Noct*is, &c. 


an nochd, to night. 



Ochd, eight. 



Beannachd, blessing 



Mallachd, cursing. 


Bruchd, evotnition. 


Intleachd, contrivance. 

Lact-is, -i, &c. 

Lachd, milk. 

Dict-o, *are, &c. 

Deachdy to dictate. 

Reg-o. 1 
Rect-um | 


Reachd, a law^ institui 

From the propensity of the Gaelic to aspiration, the original 
c was converted into cb^ and the words were written with rX/, as 
in the Irish * acht' . but^ &c. or with the slight change of / into 
i/, as in ' ochd,' &c. This is the opinion of O'Brien, when he 
says the * word * lecht' is the Celtic root of the Latin lectio — 
* the aspirate h is but a late invention.' O^Br. Ir. Dict.voc.lecbt. 
In process of time, the true sound of cbt or cbdvfSLS confounded 
with the kindred sound of cbc^ which was commonly, though 
corruptly, given to final c. 


15 - or PRONUNCIATION [Parti 

3. Afpiratcd (q). BtMd : Eke broad gb ; a» « dhfclikl* 
didjbut^ * gradh' love. 

4. Small : like fmall gh ; afe * dhearc' looked. 

5* ^lefienti as * faidh' a prophet ^ ' cridhe' the heart, 

* T2^\x faying^ * bualadh' A^ii/wg. 

Rule* The confonants c, g, /, d^ have their SMALL found, 
nahtHp ift' the fame fylldhle^ thej ai^e preceded, or in*mediately fol" 
lowedj by a SMAJUL yoffr l ; in all other fttuation> they have 
ibeir JSMM) found. * 


I. Plain. Broad: like s in fun, this ; as ^ {^2^ a fcythe^ 

* cas' afoot, * suil' an eye, * fcian' a knife. 

.2. Small. Like fh in fhow^ rq/b ; as * bris* to break ^ 

* seimh' quiet, ' miomh' /c twine, * Atidh* foundation. 

3. Afpiratcd. Like h in Aww ; as * fliuidh'/i/y ' fhrann' 
fmrted. Before / and », it is almoft, if not altogether, 
quiefceht ; as * flJanuich' healed, flEiniomh' twfled. S fol- 
lowed by a mute confonant is never afpirated. 

« Rule. S has its small founds nvhen^ in the fame fy liable^ 
it is preceded or followed by a SMALL VOWEL^ withx or with* 
out an intervening Lingual. In all other fttuations it has its 
BROAD found. Except. S is broad in * is' am. It is fnuril 
in ' fo' this, ' fud yon. It is customary to give /its broad 
found in the beginning of a word, when the former word 
ends with r, in which cafe the r alfo has its btoad fodnd^ 
as * chuir finn' we put^ * air fon' on accounts 


^q) It is certain that the natural sound of d aspirated is that 
of [the Saxon « or] th in thou ; as the natural sound of / aspira- 
ted is that of tb in think. This articulation, from whatever causc^ 
has not been adinitted into the Gaelic, either Scottish 6t Irish j 
although it 'is used in the kindred dialects of Cornwall and 

*Part L] Avv ouTHooBAPHr, 19 

Of L, N, R. 

A .diftiiidion betivcen a confooant when plaiftj and the 
fame coQfonant when afpiraud, has been jeafily traced thus 
far* ^Riis diftindtion readily difcovers itielf, not onljr in 
the pronunciation and orthography, but alfo (as will be 
(een in its proper place) throughout the fydem of inflexion* 
It takes place uniformly in tbofe coufonaots v^ch have 
been already confidered. With refpeft to the remaining 
linguals^ I, n, r, a correfponding diftioAion will be found 
to take place in their pronunciation, and iikewiie in the 
changes they fuffer by infledUon. This clofe correfpondence 
between the changes incident to /> n, r, and the changes 
which the other confonants undergo, fcems to be a fufficient 
reafbn for ftill ufing the fame difcriminatkle terms in treat- 
ing of their powers *, though thefe terms may not appear to 
be fo ftriflly applicable to thefe three confonants as to the 
reft. The powers of/, n, r, (hsdl accordingly be explained 
under the diwiGons plain and ajfiraiedy ffroad vaiifmalL . 

!• Plain. JfrW; hasnoianndlike'itin;£nglifh; 'lom' 
har^^ ^ labhair'^^/rf, ' mall'^^w, ' alt' 2 Joint, *ald' a troJt, 

* flat* a rod, * dlu* near. 

2. Smalt: Hke //in million ; as ^ linn' an ag^, ' YwcC Jill, 
■^ pin* to return^ * flighe' a way* 

3* Aipirated. Broad: like / in loom, fids as 'labhaif' 
J^, * lorn* feminine of * lorn* bare, * moV to prmfe, * dhlu* 
fbninine of* dlu*^wwr« 

4. Small: nearly like / in linA^Jill; as * a linn* his age, 

* Hon* filed, * mii* &^, * dligheach' due, iawfyl. 


1 . Plain. Broad; has no found like it in Englifh ; * nuadh' 
netv, * naifg* hind, ' lann* a Made, * cam' a heap offioms* 

2. Smflll: like ft in the fecond fyilaUe of opinion; as 
^ nigh* w^, * binn* me^pflious^ * cuipiV^^j^/ offt^nes. 

3« Afpirated. 


3* Afpirated. Br$ad: like n in no^ on; as ' nusidh' fe- 
minine of ■ nuadh' new^ ^ naifg' bounds ^ fhnamh' fv^am^ 

* lean' old(r)j * chon' of dogs ^ * dan zpoetn. 

4* Small: like '< in' i^^/^i /i^^r/ ^ ^ m^" wa/bed^ 

* ihniomh' twjfted^ * coin' £%j, * dain' poems. 

In ' an' when followed by a Palatal, the n is pronounced 
like % in Englifh *, as * an gille' the led, ^ an comhnuidh' 

Nf after a mute, is in a^ few inftances pronounced like 
r(sj; as in * mnathan' ivomen^ * cnatan' a cold^ ' an t-fnath? 
fffthe yarn ; ' pronounced ^ mrathan, cratan>^ &c. 


I. Plain. Nearly like r in roar ; as ^ ruadh' reddi/k^ 
- righ' a l//ig, ^tfiuth' r«/fi, ' torr' a A^^, * cc^rtzs* jufiice. 

2« Afpirated. J3roa^ ; nearly like r in r^^r '; as ^ car' ^ 
/«ni, ' ruith' ra^, * mor great* 

3* Small ; has no found like it in EngUfli} ' a rigV Q 
l/V7|:, * feirbhe'y2i/i>/y, ' moir' gen. of * mor* j^r^/i/. 

The plairiy a/pirated^ broad, and ywa// founds of thefe 
Linguals are not diftinguilhed in writing ; but they may, 
for the moft part/ be known from the relative pofition of 
the letters* - ^ 

RutEtf L, N, iS, have their PLAIN found when^ in the fame 
fyllable, they are immediately preceded by a plain Liquid, or in^ 
mediately followed by a plain Lingual; dfo in the beginning of 
certain cafes and tenfes ; in all other fituationsy they haive their 
ASPIRATED found. They have their SMALL fiund when^ in 
the fame fyllable J they are preceded or followed by a fmall vowel^ 
ipith or without an intervening Liquids in other fttuaiionsy they 
have their BROAD found* 


(r) In y sean' oid^ the n has its plain sound when the follow, 
ing word begins with a Lingual. Accordingly it is often writ- 
ten in that situation * seann,' as Vseann duine* an old man, * a,n 
t-seann tiomnaidh' of the Old Testament. 

(s) So in Latin, canmen from cano was pronounced, and theii 
written carmen i genmen from the obsolete yiw passed into germea^ 


Part I.] 


it* L 


H is never ufed as an independent radical letter. When 
prefixed to a word beginning with a voweU it is pronoun- 
ced like h in howg as na h-6ighean' the virgins ^ *■ na 
h-oidhche' of the night • 


The following fcheme exhibits a fuccin£t view of the 
letters, both iingly and in their feveral combinations. The 
£rf1: column contains the letters whofe found is to be ex* 
hibited ; the prefixed figures marking the number of dif- 
ferent founds denoted by the fame letter. The fecond 
column explains th^ founds, by examples or by references. 
The third column contains Gaelic words, with their tranf- 
lation, in which the feveral founds are exemplified. 

I a 


a a 

3 a 

1 c 

2 e 

3 « 

1 1 

2 i 
I o 

2 O 

3 o 
? « 

Clong far (tar 

Cfliort th3t>« 

ihort fimilar 

Oong there 

cfliort met 


fliort mother 

fhort this 

(long more 

tfliori hot 



2X fiwghter^ * ath* zford. 

ar* to pfow, * abuich' ripe. 

zdhrzdtkivor/biff ^adhbharV^^A. 

adharc' a horn^ * adhart' a hlfier* 

ma' j^ * an' the, 9 a' his^ her. 

c' s^' he, ' gnc* fort f hind* 

Ic ivith, ' leth' half. 

an de* ^erday, * ce' the earths 

duine' a man^ * brifte' broking . 

xrAn/mooth, * righ' a king. 

min' ntealf ^ crith- zjhaking. 

is' am, art, is^ 

mor great, *lbn^ food, 

mo' myy * do' thy, * Ion' the ouzte^ 

lom' W^, * toll' a hole. 

lomadh' maJang bare, 

roghnuich' to choofe. 

roghuinn choice* 

VLT frefif, ^suglijuice* 

ubh' SMI egg, * tur' quite. 

I Diphthongs. 



[Part I. 


1 ae 
J a 

2 a 

3 a 

4 a 
1 ao 

I ea 

7. ea 

3 ca 

4 tz 

5 « 

1 ei 

2 el 

4 el 

1 eo 

2 eo 
1 ^eu 

1 ia 

2 h 

1 10 

2 10 

3 lo 















(i) a (2) e 

(2) a 
(2) a 

(2) e (i) » 


(1) a 

(3) a 

(2) c (1) i 

(2) e (i) o 

<0 o 
(2) e 
(i) i (i) a 

<0 » (2) a 
(0 5 (3) o 

(0. i u 

(0 o (I) i 
(33 o (I) i 


(3)0 , 

u (2) a 

U (I)i 

2 Ul 

' lacth' days. [Ji»9rd. 

* f aidh' .a prophet, ^ claidbeamh' ^ 
' faidhbhir^ rff A. . 

* (^\{g fqueeze^ * tdis foft. 

* airm' ^ruf j, ^ gairm' ^0 calL 

* faobhar' edge of an inftnimeDtr 
' beann' a pinnacle, ' meal' ^n^. 

' dean' to doj make, * bean' a fM»«iir« 

* eailan'^ri^, * fiead' whtftle, 

* oeard' an artificer, ' geal' ft/iicfr. 
^ coireach' j&ir/f)2. 

' igeimh' fe^tf^, fmeidh' a kdaace. 

* feidh' A^, * greigh' a A^rf. 
^•xakiCc cfaplaie. 

* eigin' necejftty, * cich' Ao//^/. 

* beo' /i^W^ * beothail' m«^i^. 

^ leemhann a /lifv, ^ deock' a drinh 
^ tcmn' to bite, ' gleus' trim* 

* Sal' iikeral, ' fiar' oblifue. \ 

* fiadh' a ^if^r, ' biadh'j^Wi 

* dior to pay, * ioiach' a/mt. 

* fodhol' an idol, * crios' a ^ri^^. 

* cionta' guilt. 

* fiu' nvorth, * iudiair' a ^« 
< dii' f^/^, * tiugh' /Airt 

* oij^' a virgin, ^ trddb^mfifot* 

* oidhche' /i/]g^M 

'* moid' more, * toic' wetdtb^ 

* f 6id' a /«f/i * fois' rgff. 

^ coUoach' a r^i, * gqirid'^y&r/. 
' cuan' thefea, * fuatV &i^y^4f« 
"^ tuadh' a hatchet^ ' fluagh' ^^k^. 
' sikigheag' a rafp^berrj, * buidheanh* 

a company. 
^ duil' epcpeSation^ * fiiil' i&»i.. 



Parti.] AND ORTHOGRAPHr. 25 

which regulated the fyftem of orthography was, ' that 

* every elementary found fhould be reprefcnted by a cor- 
^ refponding charaftcr, eltner limple or compounded ; and 

* that the fame found fhould be rcprefented by the fame 
' charadter.' If different founds were reprcfented by the 
/ame i letter j — \{ the fame found were reprefented by dif- 
ferent letters ;— if more letters were employed than were 
neceffary to exhibit the found ;— or if any found were not 
reprefented by a correfjponding charafter ; then the tifritirn 
language would not be an adequate reprefentation of the 

Jpoken. It is hardly to be fuppofed that, in the firft rude 
attempts at alphabetical writing, the principle above laid 
^own could be flriftly and uniformly followed. And 
though it had, yet, in the courfe of a few generations, 
many caufes would occur to bring about confiderablc de- 
partures from it. A gradual refinement of ear, and in- 
creafing attention to euphonia ; contra£lions and elilions 
brought into vogue by the careleflhefs or the rapidity of 
colloquial fpeech, or by the praAice of popular fpeakdrs ; 
above all, the mixture of the fpeech of difierent nations, 
* would introduce riumberlefs varieties into the pronuncia- 
tion. Still thofe who wrote the language might choofe to 
adhere to the original orthography, for the fake of retain- 
ing the radical parts^ and preferving the etymon of vo- 
cables undifguifed \ and for maintaining an uniformity in 
the mcchanifm of the inflections. Hence the pronuncia- 
tion and the orthography would difagree in many inflan- 
ces ; till at length it would be found expedient to alter the 
orthography, and to adapt it to fuch changes in the fpeech, 
or fpoken language, as long ufe had eflablifhed \ in order 
to maintain what was mofl neceffary of all, a due corre- 
ipondence between the mode of fpeaking and the mode of 
writing the fame language. 

It will probably be found, on inquiry, that in all lan- 
guages, when the Jpeech has undergone material and ffarik- 
ing changes, the written language alfo has varied in a con- 
fiderablc degree, in conformity to thefe changes \ birt that 

D it 


it has not fcrupuloufly kept pace with the fpoken language 
in every fmaller variation. The written language of tfa^ 
Greeks fuffered many changes between the time that thes 
old Pelafgic was fpoken, and the days of Demofthen 
The various modes of pronunciation^ ufed in the differem 
diftriAs of Greece, are marked by a diverfity in the ortho — 
graphy of the written language. The writing of the T«atin^" 
underwent confiderable alterations between the era of the^ 
Decemviri and the Auguftan age ; correfpondingi no doubt^^ 
to the changes which had taken place, during that interval,^ 
in fpeaking the Latin. Englifh and French books, printed^ 
within the hit century, exhibit a tqpdc of orthography very^^ 
dififerent 6rom what is found in books printed two or threes 
hundred years ago. Thefe inftances {how the tendency^ 
which the written language has to follow the lead of the^ 
jpoken language, and to maintain a certain degree of con — 
formity to thofe modes of pronunciation, which are from.^ 
time to time adopted by thofe who fpeak it. 

On the other hand, numberlefs examples might be addu — - 
ced from any living lafiguage, to prove that the written Ian— ^ 
guage does not adapt itfelf, on all o^rcaiions and with ftri&iz 
uniformity, to the founds of fpeech* Words are written, 
differently which are pronounced alike. The fame com- 
binations of letters, in different fituations, reprefent diffirrent 
founds* . Letters are retained in writing, ferving to point 
out the derivations of words, after they have been entirely 
dropped in fpeaking. 

From fuch fafts as thefe it appears a juft conclufioni that 
nvritten language generally follows xkt fpoken language through 
its various revolutions, but ftill at a certain diftance ; not 
dropping fo far behind as to lofe fight of its precurfor, nor 
following fo clofe as to be led through all its fantaftic devia* 

Here a queftion occurs of importance in fettling the or- 
thography of any particular tongue : ^ How near ought the 
' ^written language to correfpond to the fpoken ; and where 
* may a difagreement between them be allowed with pro- 

^ priety ?* 


* priety ?* The following obfervations may fcrve to throw 
fome light on the fubjeft of this queftioOy though by no 
nneans fufficient to fumifh a complete anfwer. 

It is obvions that in fpeech, the ttrtictdatims (which arc 
rcprefeiited by confonants in writing) are the lead liable to 
.variatfon. Vowel founds are continually varying. In this 
variety chiefly confifts that diverfity of tone and dialed^ 
which is found in the fpeech of different diftri^ of the 
laxne country, where the fame words are fpoken. The 
changes too which are introduced by time, fall with greater 
efieA on the vowel founds, than on the articulations. This 
eircumftance will ftrike an obferver who ftejps into any de- 
liberative aflembly, where the fpeakers are of different ages. 
St Jerom makes a remark on the reading of Hebrew, which 
is applicable, in fome meafure, to the pronunciation of all 
languages : ' Nee refcrt utrum Salem aut Salim nominetur ; 

* cum vocalibus in medio literis perraro utantur Hebfaei •, 

* et pro voluntate Icftorum, ac varietate regionum^ eadem 

* "Verba diverfis fonts atque accentibus proferantur.* It may 
V>e obferved, that the fuperior (lability of the articulations 
above the vowel founds is the natural corifequencc oi the 
pofition of the organs of fpeech in uttering them. The 
difFcrait modifications of the vowel founds are effefted by 
minute changes in the conformation of the organs ; thofc 
of the articulations are made by more diftinft and opcrofe 
infle6lions of the organs. 

It feems then a warrantable conclulion, that of the ele- 
mentary conftituents of fpeech, viz. articulations and vowel 
founds, the articulations are, in their own nature, ESSEN- 
founds^ comparatively confidered, are ADJUNCTIVE, FLUC- 

Further : all the vowel founds that ufually occur in 
fpeech, feem to be uttered with equal eafe,. in whatever 
iituation they occur, as the fame organs are employed for 
all. In forming the common articulations of fpeech, as 
different organs are employed, a degree of difficulty is 



fometimes felt in making a traniition from one articulation 
to another. Thus a difficulty will occafionally occur in 
pronouncing certain words, where the general analogy of 
inflection or of collocation has brought together articula- 
tions which do not eafily coalefce* Hence a neceffity arifes 
of departing, in fuch a cafe, from the general analogy, an 
altering or difplacing fome of thofe difcrepant articulations, 
for the fake of eafe and convenience in pronunciation, and to 
relieve the ear from an ofFcnfive tlifcordant found. Depar- 
tures are made from the general rules of fpeech in the caf( 
of the vowel founds alfo ; of which the Greek tongue a — 
bounds with examples. Thcfe departures, however, fcem t( 
have been made, from a defire to indulge the ear in certai 
national prediledlions or averfions which it had conceivecE^ ^(■ 
with regard to particular founds. In examining the anom; 
lies of fpeech, or thofe peculiarities wliich have been reckon- 
ed anomalous, it will be found that fuch of them as 
the articulatidns have, for the moft part, been adopted 
the purpofe of cafe and convenience in pronunciation ; whili 
thofe which affedl the vowel founds have proceeded 
the peculiar tafte of the fpeakers. Thus the former fprin: 
firom a caufe urgent and conftant in its nature, and unifomx 
in its operation ; the latter, from a caufe local and temporary 
in its nature, and variable in its operation. 

If this theory be juft, it ought to follow, that, in all po- 
liflied tongues, an agreement will be found among thofe ir» 
regularities which affeft the articulations, that is not fo ob- 
fervable in thofe which affcft the vowel founds. There is 
reafon to believe, that, if a full comparifon were made be* 
tween different languages, this would accordingly be found 
to be the cafe. Let it be obferved then, that, in fpeech, a 
deference has been ufually paid to the articulations, which 
has not been paid to the vowel founds, in as much as the 
latter have been changed from the ftate in which the ftruc- 
ture of each tongue had at firft placed them, frequently and 
from peculiar tafte or humour; the former more rarely, 
and for the moft part from neceffity. If this obfcrvation 

^ 1| Parti. AND ORTHOGRAPHY. 29 

be found to be well fupported, we fhall have the faoAioq 
of general praAice in favour of the conclufion that was for- 
merly drawn from the nature of articulate founds ; viz. 
that the articulations are ESSENTIAL, PERMANENT, and 

1>RED0M1NAN.T-, the VOWel founds ADJUNCTIVE, FLUC- 

If it appear then that the vowel founds in fpcech are 
jjerpetually varying, in the mouths of dilFercnt fpeakcrs, 
from caufes which either elude our fearch, or when difco- 
"vered are feen to be of fmall importance ; may we not 
judge that it would be equally vain and ^improper to at- 
tempt to make Writing follow all thefe minute variations ; 
and that, however it may happen that the fame vowel 
found may be reprefemtcd; in many inftances; by diiSerent 
letters, and different vowel founds by the fame letters j yit 
"this difagreemcnt between Speech and Writing muft be con- 
nived at, for the fake of preferving fome degree of unifor- 
;^ xnity, where alone it can be preferved, in the written Lin^ 
^*% guage? If it appear again that the variations from the efta- 

^''^ blifhed analogy, which are made on the articulations, arc 
Icfs frequent, and proceed from caufes obvious and cogent ; 
V n^l ought not thefe variations to be exhibited in writing, for 
orai^l preferving that general correfpondence between the written 
and the fpoken language, which ought to be preferved as 
/ /w- 1 far as the limited powers of letters will permit ; and with- 
' ^^'M out which, the words I fpeak and thofe I write do not bc- 
^^ m long to the fame language ? 

-i? f One exception from this principle feems allowable in tlie 

cafe of quiefcent confonants. It may be inferred from the 
praftice of all living languages, that confonants, whereof 
I 1 the correfponding articulations have been fupprefled in 

i I fpeaking, may yet be retained with propriety in writing, 

when they are requifite to point out the derivation of, vo- 
cables, or the radical part of decanable words. But this 
exception ought to be allowed only to a moderate extent, 
for the reafons alreat^y afligned •, to which it may be added, 
that the far greater part of the fupprefled articulations can 



be CdSlj difcovered and retraced to their roots, Without any 
index in the wriitetp any more than in the fpoken language, 
to point them out. 

Thefe obfervations being premifed, I fliall proceed to ex- 
plain the prefeht ftate of Gaelic Orthography; and fhall 
endeavour to af&il the reader in forming a judgment of its 
mexkj and how far it may admit of improvement. 

I* It may be laid down as one fetlled principle in or-* 
thography> that * each letter, or combination of letters in 
* the written language, ought always to denote one and 
^ the fame found.' From the explanation that has been 
given of the powers of the letters, it may be fecn how far 
this principle has been regarded in the Gaelic. Though 
almoft every one of the letters reprefents more than one 
found, yet there is an evident affinity between the feveral 
founds of the fame letter. And it may be readily allow* 
ed that lefs confufion and inconvenience follow from exhit | 
biting a few kindred founds by the fame letter, than would 
have taken place, had the characters been multiplied to fuch 
a degree as that a feparate one could have been appropriated 
to each minute variety of found. 

It is obvious to remark, as a departure from this prin- 
ciple, that in the cafe of the confonants /, «, r, the diftinc- 
tion between their plain and their a/pirated ftatc is not 
marked in writing ; but that in both ftates the confonant is 
written in one way. In the middle and end of words, as 
has been fhown, this diftinftion may be known from the 
relative fituation of the letters. In the beginning of certain 
Cafes ahdTenfes of declinable words, it may often be known 
from their grammatical connection but is not marked by any 
graphical Jndex whatever. The proper reading is to be de- 
termined by the fenfe of the paflage, inftead of the fenfe 
being underftood by the proper reading. It is not eafy to 
difcover how ;ho(e who firft committed the Gaelic to wri- 
ting, neglecled to mark fuch a material diflinftion. In con- 
veniencies and ambiguities not unfrequently arife from this 





caufci vbich liavc been long felt and regretted. Is there 
toofn to hope that it is not yet too late to recommend a 
metjiod pf remedying this dtit& ? The method I would 
/uggeft 19 the moft iimple and obvious of any. It is to an- 
sae to the initial I, n, and r, in their afpirated ftate^ the 
letter h^ juft as has been done to all the other confonants« 
/Xhe analogy of orthography would thus be maintained; 
^he fyftem of inflexion would be more judly exhibited^ and 
<:arried on by an uniform procefs in Writing as it is in 
Speech; aAd errors in readings and ambiguities in fyntax 
^would be avoided (^0» 

II* Another principle of authority in regulating or- 
tlu^raphy is^ ^tbat * each found ought always to be repre- 
^ fented by one and the fame letter^ or combination of 
* letters/ The deviations from this rule in Gaelic are ex- 
tremely few. The found of m is reprefented fometimes 
\>y a alone* fometimes by 9 alone. The found of ^^^ is re« 
prefented alfo by M ; and final c often, though comiptl]^ 
ccprefcnts the fame found with <M. 

lU, A THiRP principle in orthography is, that * no 
' more letters ought to be employed than are neceflary 
.' to reprefcnt the found.' There are probably few polifh- 
^ languages in which departures from this rule are not 
found in ahundance^ Re^ons have been already n^ention- 


(t) Another mode, proposed by a learned eorrespondent, of 
marking the cjiistinction in the sound of the initial Linguab, is by 
writing the letter double, thus 11, nn, rr, when its sound is th^ 
same with that which is represented by those double letters' in 
the end of a syllable ^ and when the sound is otherwise, to write 
the letter, single \ as, < Uamh' haml^ < lUon- ^/, ^ mo lamb' tny 
band^ * lion mi' I filed. 

It M perhaps too late, however, to urge now even so slight ah 
alteration as this in the Orthography of the Gaelic, which ought 
rather to be held as fixed beyond the reach of innovation, by the 
happy diffusion of the Gaelic Scriptures over the Highland^. 


ed which render it expedient to retain letters in writing 
man7 words, after the correfponding founds have bden 
dropped in pronouncing the fame words. Quicfccnt let- 
ters, both vowels and confonants, are not unfrequent in 
G^aelk* Though thefe quicfcent letters have no found 
themfelves, they are not always without eftcft in pronunci- 
ation, as they often determine the found of other letters. 
Moft, if not all, the quicfcent vowels feem to have been 
introduced for this purpofe. They afcertain the broad or 
the fmall found of the adjoining confonants. This has 
been made fufiiciently clear in treating of the vowels and 
diphthongs feparately* A confonant, as has been fhown, 
has its broad found, both when preceded and when follow- 
ed by a broad vowel ; and in like manner has its fmalL^ 
found, both when preceded and when followed by a fmall 
Vowel. If a confonant wwe preceded by a vowel of one 
quality, and followed by one of a different quality; the 
reader, it has been thought, might be doubtful whether 
that confonant ought to be pronounced with its broad or 
with its fmall found. Hence this rule has long obtained ia 
Gaelic orthography, that * in polyfyllables, the laft vowel 

* of one fyllable and the firft vowel of the fubfequent fyl- 

* lable muft be both of the fame quality (u).^ To the cx- 
tenfive application, and the rigid obfcrvance of this rule, it 
is owing that fo many diphthongs appear where one vowel 
is fufficient to exprefs the vocal found \ and that the ho- 

(u) Leathan re Leathan^ is Caoi re CaoL 

Of the many writers who have recorded or taken notice of 
this Rule, I have found none who has attempted to account for 
its introduction into the Gaelic. They only tell that such a cor- 
respondence between the vowels ought to be observed, and that 
it would be improper to write otherwise. Indeed none of them 
seems to have attended to the different effects of a broad and of a 
small vowel on the sound of an adjacent consonant. From this 
circumstance, duly considered, I have endeavoured to derive a 
reason for the Rule in question, the only probable one that has 
yet occurred to me. 


mogeneous vowels, when ttfed in their quiefcent capacity, 

are often exchanged for each other, or written indifcrimi- 

nately (m). From the former of thcfc circamftances, moft 

of the words in the language appear loaded with fuperfluous 

vowels ; from the latter, the orthography of many words 

appears, in fome refpedb^ arbitrary and unfettled. Even a 

partial correction of thefe blemi(hes muft be defirable^ It 

xxiay therefore be worth while to examine this long efta- 

IjMihed canon of Gaelic orthography, with a view to difco- 

-yer whether it has 'not been extended farther than is ne- 

creiTary, and whether it ought not in many cafes to be fet 


^^e have feen that the Labials b^ iw, f^ />, whether afpi- 
x*ated or not, have no diftin6tion of broad and fmall found* 
It cannot then be neceflary to employ vowels, either pre- 
fixed or poftfixed, to indicate the found of thefe. Thus 
• abuich^ rtpe^ * gabhaidh' wi// take^ * chromainn* 1 would 
bonvf ^ ciomaich' captives^ have been written with a broad 
vowel in the fecond fyllable, correfponding to the broad 
vowel in the firft fyllable ; yet the letters * abich, gabhidh, 

• chrominn, ciomich,' fully exhibit the found.— ^-The pre- 
pofitive fyllable * im,' when followed by a fmall vowel, is 
written * im,' as in * imlich' to lich^ * imcheif^* pfrplexity. 
But when the firfl vowel of the following fyllable is broad, 
it has been the practice to infert an o before the m, as in 

• iomlan' complete, * iomghaoth* a nvhirlwindf * iomluafg' 
agitation. Yet the inferted o ferves no puipofe either in 
refpeft of derivation, of inflection, or of pronunciation. — 
The unnecefTary application of the rule in queftion appears 
moft unequivocally in words derived frbm other languages, 
Froni the Latin words imagOy templum^ liber^ are formed in 
Gaelic ' iomhaigh, teampull, leabhar.' Nothing but a' fer- 
vile regard to the rule under coniideration could have fug- 


(x) As * deanuibh' or * deanaibh^ do ye^ * beannuich^ or 

• beaimaich^ bieu* 



gefled the Infbrtio^ of 2, broad w)V€l m the firft fyllablft of 
(hefe words ; where it serves neither to guide tj^9 pomunci-' 
atipxif nor to point out the deriv^^tion. 

Another cafe) in which the observation of ^lis rule 
feeijoSL to be wholly unnecefi^, is when two fyUablQs q£ a 
word sire feparated by 2, quie&ent confpnaot* Thm im 
• gleidheadh' keefingj * ithwdV ea^ngt * bwdb^w^' a cam^ 
pany^ ^ dligheaph' lawfid, the, afpir^ed coproo^^<s io tbd 
nuddle are altog^her qui^ceat. The voc4 foiUKl oiE tJifi 
f^cond fyllable i^ ftifSci^tly expref^ bjr thq l%ft vowdU- 
No good re^fc^ th^ ^ppc^M^sk for wifiting a iS^ail vo^rel ia 
the fecond fyllable. 

Thus, fair it is. evident th^t tbj? Ri4l(e refpe^tipf tho cor- 

. reippndence of vawel^ is wjl^y. i(Kipert;in^9jt iq th«e <^..of 

fyllables divided by L^d?ialsL^ qi: by qp^penjt jcpnipn^M;^. Ifi 

we examii>e further imp the applifq^fto^ of th^ rak> we &^. 

find more cafes^ in which it m^. b^ (afely, £b» s^q. 

Mj^^iy of t^^ in^eAion^ of nouj^s a^ ▼qrbs. ai:>e foriQ$4 . 
by adding pqe or i;aore; fyllables to the ropt. Th^ €q^. 
cpnionant of the rpot muft alurays b^ oppfid^i^^ a^ belpng-. 
ing to the nuj^iqaj paft, not to th^ a^jj^^od: teiWdiftat4oii. 
The fp^nd of that (^pnfonanl;, whether bi^ad Ofr fiiuill^ b\\s 
to ba.determ iwd by the quality of th? vowel, which procedcs/ ' 
it i^ the faQic JyUa^Ie, npt by th^ qjoality of^ that, which fpj«, , 
Ipws, it lA the ne3^ fyUabl^ % feegi&. t«h^«foire unopceflaryi 
to employ any more vov^els in the: adje^t^d fyllabk thao 
^at ai:e fufficient to reprefent its- owi> vocal ibund. The- 
Rule under confid^atipn ha|5, notwithfta^ing,. been, exr 
tended to the orthography of thf^ pt^iqu^ c^^. and tenses.; 
and a fnpernumerary vowel ha^ beei^. thrown: into tlK?^ ter- 
mination, whenever that, wa^. requi^te: to pri^er^'ie the fup-- 
po$ed neceiTary correfpondence with tho fpfqgpiog fy liable. 
Thu^ in forming the nominative af)d dative plural of maoy/ 
XK)^as, the fyllables an and tbh are added to the fingular, 
which letters fully exprefs the true found of thefe termina- 
tipns. If thc: laft vowel of the nominative QngHlar is. broad» 
an alone is added for the nominative plurajii ^ ^ lamh^^' 





himds^ * eln^s^ eats. Bnt if the laft vowel be fmall an e 
is throfini into the termibation ; as * ^I'ean' eyes, ' frbbt^' 
ean' m/es. Notr if it be obfenred that, iid thfc two laft etam- 
ples^ the fmall foand of the / and n in the root is determined 
hf the preceding fmall vowel i with wUch they are necefla^- 
rUy connected in one fyllable ; and that the letters an fully 
reprefent the (bund of the termination; it muft be evident 
^hat the ^ in the final fyllable is altogether fuperfluous. So 
in forming the dative plural, if the laft vowel of the root 
be finall, M is added ; as ^ suil-ibh, froin-ibh.' But if the 
laft vowel of the root is broad, the termination is written 
dttbi ; as ' lamh-aibh, cluas-aibh ;' Where the a, for the rea* 
fon already affigned^ is totally ufelefs. 

Thefe obfervations apply with equal juftnefs to the tenfes 
of verbs, as will be feen by comparing the following ex- 
amples •, ' crekl-idh' will believe, * ftad-zsidh' will flop ; 

* chreid-inn* / would believe^ ftad-mnn' / would Jlop ; * crcid- 
^am* let me believe^ * ftad-am' 1^ tnejlepj * creid-ibh' believe ye^ 
^ ftad-tfibhy^ ye. 

The fame obfei^aticms may be further ap^d to deriva* 

tive words, formed by adding to their primitives the fyl- 

lables ach, achdj ag, an, ail, as ; in all which e has been un« 

neceflarily introduced, when the laft vowel of the preceding 

^ fyllable was fmall ( as fannt-ath' coifeteus^ * toil-^ach' willing i 

* naomh-achd' holinefs, * doimhn*«achd' depth ,- ' fruth-an' a rt- 
vulet^ ^ cuil-«m' a whelp ; * cuach-ag' a little cup, ' cail*^' 
%girli ^ fear-ail' manly ^ * £,mAreiX frimdly (y) ; * ceart-as^ 

Jft^ice^ ^ vtaxd^edS friiH^p. 


(y) It is Worthy of remark that in such words as ' caird-tilS 
Jnendfy, * slaint-eiP salutary^ the substituticm of e in place of n in 
the termination, both misrepresents the soniid, and disguises the 
derivation of the syllable. The sound of this termination as in 

&c. It corre^ttds e^sactly to the' £tigl!sfa termination Hhe^ in 



The foregoing obfenrations appear fufficient to eftablifh 
this general conclufion, that in all cafes in which a vowel 
ferves neither to exhibit the vocal found, nor to modify the 
articulations of the fyllable to which it belongs^ it may be rec- 
koned nothing better than an ufelefs incumbrance. There 
feems therefore much room for fimplifying the prefent fyf- 
tem of Gaelic Orthography^ by the rejection of a confi* 
derable number of quiefccnt vowels fzj, 


soidur-lihe^ officer-likey which is abridged to ly^ as manly ^firiendly^ 
By writing eil instead of ail^ we almost lose sight of * amhuil* al- 

(%) From the extracts of the oldest Irish manuscripts given 
by Lhuyd, Vallanccy, and others, it appears that the rule con- 
cerning the correspondence of vowels in contiguous syllables, 
was by no means so generally observed once as it is now. It 
was gradually extended by the more modem Irish writers ; froni 
whom, it is probable, it has been incautiously adopted by the 
Scottish writers, in its present unwarrantable latitude. The rule 
we have been considering has been reprobated in strong terms 
by some of the most judicious Irish philologers \ particularly 
O'Brien, author of an Irish Dictionary printed at Paris 1768, 
and Vallancey, author of an Irish Grammar, and of various ela- 
borate disquisitions concerning Irish antiquities j from whom I 
quote the following passages : * This Rule [of dividing one syl- 
' lable into two by the insertion of an aspirated consonant,] toge- 
ther with that of substituting small or broad vowels in the lat- 
ter syllables, to correspond with the vowel immediately follow- 
ing the consonant in the preceding syllable, has been very de- 
structive to the original and radical purity of the Irish lan- 
guage.' Valtancetfs Ir, Gram. Chap, IIL letter A, * — another 
[Rule] devised in like manner by our bards ot rhymers, I 
mean that which is called Caol le caol^ agus Leatban le leathan^ 
has been woefully destructive to the original and radical purity 
of the Irish language. This latter rule (much of a more mo- 
dern invention than the former, for our old manuscripts show no 
regard to it) imports and prescribes that two vowels, thus 
forming, or contributing to form, two different syllables, — 
should both be of the same denomination or class of either 
broad or small vowels j and this without any regard to the 
primitive elementary structure of the word.* 0''Brien*s Ir. 
f)ic(. Remarks on A. ^....^the words btran and biranach changed 



Almofl: t^e only quiefcent confonants, which occur in 
Gaelic are d^f^ g, s, /, in their afpirated ftate. When thefe 
occur in the inflexions of declinable words, ferving to indi- 
cate the Root \ or in derivatives, ferving to point out the 
primitive word •, the omiflion of them might on the whole 
be unadvifable. Even when fuch letters appear in their 
abfolute form; though they have been laid afide in pro- 
nunciation, yet it would be rafh to difcard them in writing; 
as they often fcrve to fhow the affinity of the words in 
which they are found to others in different languages, or in 
different dialers of the Celtic. The afpirated form of the 
consonant in writing fufficiently fhows that, in fpeaking, its 
articulation is either attenuated or wholly fuppreiled. 

The writers of Gaelic feem to have carefully avoided 
bringing into appofition two vowels which belong to differ- 
ent fyllables* For this purpofe they have fometimes intro- 
duced a quiefcent confonant into the nyddle of compound 
or of inflefted words ; as, * gneidheif or rather * gnethail' 
hnd/y, made up of ' gne' and ^ ail ;' ' beothail' Ihefy, made 
up of* beo* and ' ail ;' ' diathan' ^m//, from the fingular * dia;' 

* lathaibh' days, from the Angular ' la,' &c. It may at leaft 
bear a qpeftion, whether it would not be better to allow the 
vowels to denote the found of the word by their own pow- 

'sometimes into bioran and bioranach by the abusive rule of 

* Leathan ie leathan? Id in voc. Fear. The opinion of Lhuyd 
on this point, though not decisive, yet may properly be subjoin- 
ed to those of Vallancey and O'Brien, as his words serve at least 
to show that this judicious philologer was no advocate for the 
Rule in question. * As for passing any censure on the rule con- 

* ccthing broad and small voweb, I chose rather to forbear mak* 

* ing any remark at all upon them ; by reason that old men who 

* formerly wrote * arget' stiver ^ instead of * airgiod* as we jiow 

* write it, never used to change a vowel but in declining of 

* words, &c. And I do not know that it was ever done in any 

* other language, unless by some particular persons who, through 

* mistake or ignorance, were guilty of it.' ArcbaeoL Bpt. Pre- 
face to Ir, Diet, translated in Bp% Nicbolson'^s Irish Historical 

38 or paoNUNCiATioi^ [Part 

ers, without the intervention of ^piiefcent confonants, 
lias been done in ' mnaiiUi' womeriy ^ deibh' ^ods s rather tfa 
in&rt confon:mts which have nothing to do with either thi? 
ndical or the fuperadded articulations of the word. 

From the want of an eftabliflied ftandard in orthograph 
tbe writers of Gaelic^ in felling words wherein qtiiefc 
coiifonants occarred, muft have been often doubtful whirl 
of two or three confonants was the proper one ; and ma; 
therefore have difiered in their manner of fpelling the (am 
word. Accordingly we find, in many inftances^ the ft 
words written by different writers, and even at differe 
times by the fame writer, with different quiefcent confonan 

This variation affeAs not indeed the pronunciation, or do- 
it in a very flight degree. Hence, however, fome .wl 
judge of the language only from its appearance in writin^ 
have taken occafion to vilify it as ' unfixed and nonfenj* 
cal (a).^ A proper attention to the aflinity which tXjtf 
Scottifli Gaelic bears to {bme other languages, particnlaarff 
to other diale^ls of the Celtic, might contribute to fix tlie 
orthography in fome cafes where it appears doubtful,. or lutf 
become variable (b). 


(a) Pinkerton's Inquiry into the History of Scotland. 

(b) E. g. * Troidh' a foot^ has 'been written * troidh' or 
' troigh 'y either of which corresponds to the pronunciation, al 
the last consonant is quiescent. In Welch, the articulation of 
the final consonant has been preserved, and the word is accord- 
ingly written * troed.' This authority seems sufficient to deter* 
mine the proper orthography in Gaelic to be ^ troidh^ and not 
' troigh.^-«-For a like reason, perhaps, it would be proper to wriu 

* trMdh^ shorcy rather than ^ tr^gh' the common way of spelliag 
the word; for V(e find the Irish formerly wrote ^ tr^h,' aftd 
the Welch * traeth.^— -^ Claidheamh* a sword, since the final ar- 
ticulation was wholly dropped, has been sometimes written 
' claidhe.' The mode of writing it still with a final labial, 
though quiescent, will probably be thought the more proper of 
the two, when it is considered that * claldheamh^ is the cognate, 
or rather the same word with the Irish ^ cl(Hdheamh,' the Welch 

• klcdhyv,' and the French * Glaive.' 


]V« Thb lift principk to be mentioned, which ought 
tx> regulate orthography^ is that ^ every found ought to be 
* rqM^&sted by a corrdjpondiBg charaAer.' From this rule 
tJMve ifl hasdiy a fingle deviation) in Gadac,. as thece is no» 
finmd. JA the fpoken language whicL isi not, in ibme mea« 
furc, exhibited in the written language. The fault of the 
Gaelic orthography is fometimes a redundancy^ but nevef a 
deficiency of letters. 

A few obfervations on the mode of writing (bme particu- 
lar words, or particular parts of fpeech, remain to be brought 
forward in the fequel of this work^ which it would be pre- 
Knature to introduce here. 

The Scottifli writers of Gaelic in general followed the Irifli 
orthography 9 till after the middle of the laft century. How- 
ever that fyftcm may fuit the dialect of Ireland, it certainly 
is not adapted to the Gaelic of tUs country. In the Gaelic 
tranflation of the New Teftament, printed in 1767, not only 
were moft of the Irifh idioms and infle^ons, which had 
been admitted into the Scottifh Gaelic writings, rejeded, 
and the language adapted to the dialedl of the Scottifh 
Highlands J but the orthography alfo was adapted to the 
language^ In later publications, the manner of writing the 
language was gradually affimilated to that pattern. The 
Gaelic Verfion of the Sacred Scriptures lately publiihed has 
exhibited a model, both of flyle and orthography, ftill more 
agreeable to the pureft Scottifh idiom ; and has a jufl title 
to be acknowledged as the flandard in both. Little feems 
to be now wanting, to confer on the orthography of the 
Scottifh Gaelic fuch a degree of uniformity, as may re- 
deem its credit and enfure its fhibility. TKis, it is to be 
hoped, may be attained by a judicious regard to the fepa- 
rate, and efpecially the relative powers of the letters j— to 
tiie moft common and approved modes of pronunciation ;— - 
• to 

40 OF PRONUNCIATION, &c. [Part I _ 

to the affinity of the Scottifh Gaelic with other branche := 
of the Celtic Tongue ;— to the analogy of Inflection ancz^a 
Derivation ; — and above all to the authority of fome gene- := 
rally received flandard ; to which pre-eminence the lat^ . 
Gaelic Verfion of the Scriptures has the only indifputabW _, 


V .1 




PART 11. 


HE parts of fpeech in Gaelic may be conveniently divided 

and arranged as follows : Article, Noun, Adjective, Pronbony 
Verb, Adverb, Prepoiition, Conjunction, Interjection. Of 
thefe, the firft five are declinable ; the other four are inde- 


The Gaelic Article ^ an* correfponds to the Englifh de- 
finite article ihe» There is in Gaelic no indefinite article 
correfponding to the Englifh a or an. The infleAions of 
the article are but few. They depend on the gender, the 
number, and the cafe, of the noun to which it is prefixed. 
Hence the article is declined by gender, number, and cafe, 
as follows : 

F Singular. 


Singular. Plural. 

tndfc, fern* mafc. tsf fern. 

Norn, an, am an, a^ na 

Gen* an^ a na nan, nam 

Dat. an, a', 'n an, a', 'n na 

In the fingular, final n of the article is fomctimes cut off, 
and its abfence marked by an apoftrophc. The fame hap- 
pens to the initial « bf the datiYe fingular. 


A Noun is the Name of any perfon, objeft, or thing- 
whatfoerer, that we have occafion to mention. In treating^ 
of this Part of Speech, we have to confider the Gender and- 
the Declenfton of Nouns. 


In impofihg names on fenfible objefts, the great and ob- 
vious diftindion of Sex in the animal world fuggefted the 
expiadtency of inventing names, not only for the particular 
Aecies of animab, but alfo for difHfiguf filing their ISex. 
Stich are «>, fimina ; baU^ cow / ccUeadkj cemrc ; &c. To 
mtfk at ohce identity of fpecicis, and div«riity of Sex, the 
fame word, with a flight change on its form, was ap{^icd 
to both fexes : as equus^ equa ; lion^ lionefs ; oghichf banoglach. 
la mofl languages, didinclion of Sex has been marked^ 
not only thus by the form of the B6un, but further by the 
form of the adjeftive connefted with the noun. Mofl ad- 
jeftives were fumifhcd with two forms ; the one of wliich 
indicated its conneAion with the name of a male; the 
other, its conneftion with the name of a female. The one 
was called by grammarians the mafcnline gender ; thfe other, 
the fermmne gender of the adjeftivc. AdjetStives, pofleffing 
thus a twofold form, muft neceflariiy have aj^ared under 
one or other of thefe forms, with whatever noun they hap- 
pened to be conjoined. Even nouns fignificant of inanimate 



ol^eEh came thns to poflefs one mark of nouns difcrimina^ 
tive of Sex ; as they haj^ned to be accompanied by an ad- ' 
jeAive of the mafculme, or by one of the ffminine glider* 
If any noun was obfekred to be ufually coupled with an ad- 
jedive of the mafculine gender, it was termed by gram- 
marians a maJcuHne nwn; if it was found uiiiaU]^ coupled 
with an adje£Hve of the feminine gender» it. was termed a 
femimm noun. Thus a diAindllon of nouns into mafculine 
and feminine came to be noted, and this alfo was called 

It is obfervable then that gender^ in grammar, is taken 
in two difierent acceptations* When applied to an adjec* 
tive, it fignifies a certain y^nw, by which bonus is diftinguifh- 
ed from bona* When applied to a noun, it iigni£es a certaio 
relation of the word to the attributives conneded with it, by 
which amor is diftinguifhed from cupido. As Sex is a na- 
tural chara£leriftic pertaining to living objedb *, fo gender 
is a grammatical charaAeriAic pertaining to nouns, the 
names of obje£i$ whether animate or inanimate. The gen- 
der of nouns is not, properly fpeaking, indicated^ it is con- 
fiitnted by that of the attributives conjoined with them. 
If there were no dlfHnfHon of gender in adje£tives, parti- 
ciples, &c« there could be none in nouns. When we fay 
that amor is a noun of the mafculine gender, and cupido a 
noim of the feminine gender, we do not mean to intimate 
any diftinAion between the things fignified by thefe nouns % 
we mean nothing more than to fliate a grammatical hS^, viz« 
that an adje£live connc£led with amor is always of the fame 
form as when joined to a noun denoting a male ; and 
that an adjective conne£led with cupido is alwiiys of the fame 
fonn as when joined to a noun denoting a female (c)* 


(c) I flatter myself that all my readers, who are acquainted 
with any of the antient or the modem languages which have a 
distinction of gender in their attributives, will readily perceive 
that the import of the term Gender, in the grammar of those 
languages, is precisely what I have stated above. The same 


44 OF THE PARTS [Part 11. 

When an adjectire was to be conneAed with a noun 
that denoted an objeA devoid of Sex ; it is not always eafy 
to guefs what views might have determined the fpeaker to 
ufe the adjeAive in one gender rather than in the other. 
Perhaps Sex was attributed to the objedl fignified by the 
nobn. Perhaps its properties were conceived to bear fome 
refemblance to the qualities charaAeriftic of Sex in living 


term has been introduced into the grammar of the English 
Tongue \ rather improperly, because in an acceptation different 
from what it bears in the grammar of all other languajg^e^* In 
English there is no distinction of gender competent to Articles, 
Adjectives, or Participles. When a noun is said to be of the 
masculine gender, the meaning can only be that tKe object 
denoted by it is of the male sex. Thus in the English gram- 
mars, gender signifies a quality of the objecf named ^ wmle in 
other grammars it signifies a quality of the name given to the 
object. The varieties of who^ whtcb^ and be^ sbe\ it^ refer not 
to what is properly called the gender of the antecedent noun^ but 
to the Sex real or attributed, or the absence of Sex ^ of the object 
signified by the antecedent. This is in effect acknowledged 
by writers on rhetoric, who affirm that in English the pronouns 
wbo^ be^ sbe, imply an express personification, or attribution of 
life, and consequently of Sex, to the objects to which these pro-^ 
nouns refer. The same thing is still more strikingly true of the 
variations on the termination of nouns ^ 2ls prince^ princess ; liotiy 
lioness ; which are all discriminative of Sex. it seems therefor* 
to be a mis-stated • compliment which is usually paid to the 
English, when it is said that * this is the only language which 
' has adapted the gender of its nouns to the constitution of Na- 

* ture.' The fact is, that it has adapted the Form of some of the 
most common names of living creatures, and of a few of its pro- 
nouns, to the obvious distinction of male and female^ and inatd-^ 
mate; while it has left its noun^ without any mark characteristic 
oi gendfr. The same thing must necessarily happen to any 

. language by abolishing the distinction of masculine and feminine 
in its attributives. If all languages had been constructed on this 
plan, it may confidently be affirmed that the grammatical term 
gender would never have come into use. The compliment in* 
tended, and' due to the English, might have been more correctly 

• expressed, by saying that * it is the only language that has re- 
^ jected the unphilosophical distinction of gender, by making its 

* attributives, in this respect, all indeclinable.' 

Part II.] OF sp££CH. 45 

creatures. In many inftances, the form of the noun feems 
to have decided the point. It muft be confefled that in 
this mental procefs^^ the judgment has been often fwayed by 
trivial circumftances^ and guided by fanciful analogies* At 
leafl it cannot be denied that in the Gaelic, where all 
nouns whatever are ranked under the clafs of mafculines or 
of femininesy the gender of each has been fixed by a pro- 
cedure, whereof the grounds cannot now be fully invefti- 
gated or afcertained. Neither the natural nor artificial 
qualities or ufes of the things named^ nor the form of the 
names given them, fumiih any invariable rule by which the 
gender of nouns may«be known. It ought to be remember- 
ed however that that Gaelic is far from being fingulav in this 
refpe£):. The oldeil language with which we are acquainted, 
as well as fome of the.moft polifhed modem tongues, ftand 
in the fame predicament. 

The following obiervations may ferve to give fome idea * 
of the analogy of gender in Gaelic nouns ; though they do 
x>ot fiirnifh a complete fet of rules fufiident to afcertain the 
gender of every noun. 

Masculines. Nouns fignifying males are mafculines; 
as ' fear' a man, ' righ' a kingj * fagart' aprie/t^ ^ tarbh' a Imll^ 
'cti' a dog. 

Many nouns, fignifying the young of animals of either 
Sex, are mafculine, even when the individual obje£b they 
denote are mentioned as being of the female Sex ;, as 
* laogh^' a calfy * ifean,' a gojling^ * uan,' a lamb^ Scc-fd). 

Diminutives in aft; as ^ rothan,' a little wheel^ * dealgan,' 
a little finy &Cc* ^ 

Derivatives in «/, which are, for the mofl: part, abffaraft 
nouns; as * caird^^aSi friend/hip^ ' naimhdeas,' enmity^ ' ciuio- 
' eas,' cabnnefsy ' breitheamhnas^' yW^m^n/, ' ccs^^s, jtj/lice, 
^ maitheas,' gpodtie/s, &c* 

jDerivatives in aifj acb^ iche^ which are, for the moft 


(d) Uan beag bainionn, 2 Sam. xii. 3. Numb, vi. 14. So 
leombann boirionn, Ezek. xix. 2^ 


party agents ^ as ' cealgair^' a decmttrj ^ iealgair/ a bunt/man, 
^ dorfair,' a door-keeper^ ^ marcach, a rider^ * maraiche, a 
fnlor, * coifiehe/ a fooUtraveUer^ &c. 

Names of fuch kinds of trees as are natives of Scotland. i 
as *' darach/ mk^ ' giuthas^'^r, ' imnhfeann/ afb, 

Moft poljfyllables whereof the lait vowel is broad^ are 

Femininss, Nouns fignifying females are feminine \ as 
^ bean,' a w^man^ ' mathair/ d mother^ ' bo^' a cow, &c« 
Except ^ bainionnach/ or ^ boirionnach^' ii fimaUt ' mart^' 
a r^fUy ' capull/ a htrfe or ffurr^, but commonly a fnare, 
which are mafculine j, ^nd ' caileann/ or * cailinn/ ii dam/el, 
mafculine or feminine (e). Mark, vi. 28. 

Some nouns denoting a fpecies are feminine, even when 
die individual fpoken of is charaAerifed as a male } as 

* gabhar f hirionn,' a he^ggaU Pfal. 1. 9. 

Names of countries^ as ^ Albainn,' ^cciland^ ^ Eirin/ 

Nam«g of mufical infhtiments \ as * cllrfach,' a harp^ 

* plob,' a pipe* 

Names of the heavenly bodies ; as ^ Grian,' sun^ * Gealacb/ 

Names of difeafes j as ' teafach/ a fever ^ * a' ghriuthacb/ 

C^^ It must appear singularly strange that any nouns which 
signify females exclusively should be of the masculine gender^ 
The noun ' bainionnacb,' is derived from the adjective ^ bain- 
* ionn/ female^ which is formed from * bean,' the appropriate 
term for a woman. Yet this noun ^ bainionnach/ or * boir* 
ionnach» a female^ is masculine to all grammatical intents and 
purposes. We say * boirionnach cdir,' a civil woman^ * am boir^ 
^ ionnach niaiseach,' ibe baftdiime wommh. 

The gender of this Noun seems to have been fized^ not by its 
^gnification, but by its termination \ for most Derivatives in mcb 
are masculines j as * oganach,' a young man^ * marcach,' a borse* 
man, * Albanach,' a Scotsman^ &c. So in Latin, * mancipium, 
' scortum,* though applied to persons, follow the gender of their 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 47 

the meafles, * a* bhreac,' the ftnaU-^^ ^ a' bhuidheach/ the 
jaundice^ * a' bhainneachi' a diarrhea^ &<^« 

Colie^ve names of trees or fhrubs are feminine ; as 
' giuthafach^' a fir wood, ^ iugharach/ a yew co^, • feileachj' 
a wii/ow ccff/fj ^ droighneach, a thcrny brake* 

Diminutives m ag or ogs as * caileag^' a gir/, * cuachag^' 
n little cup. 

Derivatives in achdg as ' iomlftnachd^'yi^^, * doiilear* 
achd^' dil/kinefi^ * dotmhneacbd/' defth^ ' rioghchd, kingd9m, 

* finnfireachd^' anc^rf, &c« 

AbflraA nouns formed from the genitive of adjectives 5 
as * doille^ Uindnrfs, * gile/ whiietiefs^ ' leiigc, laainefs^ 
^ buidhre,' deafmfs^ &c. 

Many monofyllables in ua followed by one or more €onfo« 
nants are feminine ; as ' bruach/ a bank^ ^ cruach,' a heap^ 
' cuach^' a cup, ' duas,' an ear^ ' gniag,' the heir of the head, 

* fguaby' ajheafy ' tuadh,' a hatchet, * tuath>' peasantry, 

' Almoft all polyfyllaUes, whereof the laft vow«i is fmail, 
except thofe in mr and iche, already noticed, are feminitie. 

A few nouns are of either -gender; ^Salm/ a Pfalm, 
' creidimh/ belief, are ufcd as mafculinc nouns in fome 
places, and feminine in Others. ^ Chiinne/ the globe, ^ tal- 
amb,' the earth, land, are mafculinc in the. nominative ; as 

* an cruinne-cc/ the globe of the earthy Pfal. Ixxxix. 11. xc. 2. 
D. Buchan. iT^?. p. i2. 15. 'an talamh tioram,' the dry 
land. Pfal. xcv. 5. The fame nouns are generally feminifile 
in the genitive^ as * gu crich na cruinne,' to the extremity (f 
the nju^rld* Pfal. xix. 4. ' aghaidh na talmhainn,* the face of 
the earth. Gen. i. 29. A:fts, xvii. 24, 


Nouns undergo certain changes fignificant of Number 
and of Relation. 

The forms fignificant of Number are two : the Singular, 
which denotes one; and the Plural which denotes any 
number greater than one. 



The changes expreffiye of Relation are made on nouns 
in two ways : i. On the beginning of the noun ; 2. On its 
termination.* The relations denoted by changes on the ter- 
mination are difierent from thofe denoted by changes on the 
beginning ; they have no neceflary conne^Uon together ; the 
one may take place in abfence of the other. It feems pro- 
per therefore to clafs the changes on the termination by 
themfelves in one divifion, and give it a name^ and to 
dafs the changes on the beginning alfo by themfelves in 
another diviflon^ and give it a different name. As the 
changes on the termination denote, in general, the fame re- 
lations which are denoted by the Greek and Latin cafes ; 
that feems a fufficient reafon for adopting the term Cafe 
into the Gaelic Grammar, and applying it, as in the Greek 
and Latin, to fignify ^ the changes made on the termination 
* of nouns or adje£)ives to mark relation ffj. According to 
this defcription of them, there are four cafes in Gaelic. 
Thefe may be named, like the correfponding cafes in Latin, 
the Nominative J the Genitive^ the Dative, and the Vocative (g)* 


(f) It was necessary to be thus explicit in stating the changes 
at the beginning, ^nd those on the termination, as unconnected 
independent accidents^ which ought to be viewed separately^ 
because many who have happened to turn their thoughts toward 
the declension of the Gaelic noun, have got a habit of conjoin- 
ing these, and supposing that both contribute their united aid to- 
ward forming the cases of nouns. This is blending together 
things which are unconnected, and ought to be kept distinct. 
It has .therefore appeared necessary to take a separate view of 
these two accidents of nouns; and to limit the term case to those 
changes which are made on the termination, excluding entirely 
those which take place at the beginning. 

(g) It is to be observed that these names of the cases are 
adopted merely because they are already familiar, not because 
they all denominate correctly the relations expressed by the cases 
to which they are respectively applied. There is no Accusative 
or Objective case in Gaelic different from the Nominative j 
neither is there any Ablative different from the Dative. For 
this reason, it is not only unnecessary, but erroneous, to reckon 
up six Cases in Gaelic, distinguished not by the form of the 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 49 

The Nominative is ufed when any perfon or thing is men- 
tioned as the fuhjeB of a propofition or queftion^ or ^ as the 
objcB of an action or affection. The Genitive corresponds 
to an Englifh noun preceded by of. The Dative is ufed 
only after a prepoiition. The Vocative is employed when 
a perfon or thing is addrefled* 

The changes on the beginning of nouns are made by 
afpirating an initial confonant ; that is, writing^ after it. 
This may be called th^ AJ^irated form of the noun. The 
^pirated form extends to all the cafes and numbers. A 
oioun, whereof the initial form is not changed by afpiration, 
is in the Primary form. 

The accidents of nouns may be briefly ftated thus. A 
noun is declined by Number, Cafe> and Initial form. The 
Numbers aie two; Singular and Plural. The Cafes are 
four ; Nominative^ Genitive^ Dative^ and Vocative* The Ini- 
tial form is twofold j the Primary form ; and the A/pirated 
form peculiar to nouns beginning with a confonant. 

In declining nouns, the formation of the cafes is obferyed 
to depend more on the lafl vowel of the nominative than 
on the final letter. Hence the lafl vowel of the nominative, 
or in general of any declinable word, may be .called the 
charaSleriftic vowel. The divilion of the vowels into broad and 


Noun, but by the Prepositions prefixed. This is to depart altoge- 
ther firom the common and proper use of the term Case. And if 
the new use of that term is to be adopted, thfsn the enumeration 
is still incomplete, for we ought to have as many Cases as there 
are Prepositions in the language. Thus, besides a Dative ' do 

* Bhard,^ and an Ablative ' o Bhard,' we should have an Iropo- 
sitive Case * air Bard,* a Concomitative * le Bard,' an Insertivc 

* ann am Bard;' a Precursive * roimh Bhard,' &c. &c. Gram- 
marians have very correctly reckoned only five Cases in Greek, 

' two in English, one in French ^ [See Moore ^ Murray^ Baffler^ 
&c. 3 because the variations in the form of the Noun extend 
no further. Surely nothing but an early and inveterate pre* 
possession in favour bf the arrangements of Latin Grammar 
could ever have suggested the idea of six Cases in Gaelic or in 


50 OP THE PARTS [Part II. 

fmail fuggefts the diftribation of aonns into two Decknfions^ 
diftinguifbed by the qaalky of the charaftcriftk voweL The 
firft Declcnfion <:omprehends tbofe nouns whereof the effo^ 
raSeriftic voWel hi broad: the fecond Decfenfion compre- 
hends thofe nouns wher^f the eharoBeriJtie Towel \%Jhmli, 

The following examples are given of the infiefiion of 
nouns of the 


Bard, maf« a Po^4 

Singular^ PluraL 

Norn, Bard Baird 

Gen. Baird Bard 

Bat. Bard BardaiMl 

Voc* Bhaird Bharda 

C\ix^f fern, an Ear. 
Singular. Plural. 

Nonu Cluas Ciuafan 

Gen. Ouaife Clnas 

Dat. Cluais Cluafaibfa 

Voc. Chluas Chluafa. 

Formation of the Cajes of Noutis of the Ftrjl Declenfion. 

Singular Number. 
General Rule Jw forming the Genitive.^^^The Genitive Is 
formed from the Nominative, by inferting i after the eharac- 
teriftic vowel : as ' b^' maf. death. Gen. fing. ^ biis'j * faar- 
an' m. 2 fountain, g. f. * fiiarain'; • clarfach' f. a harpy g. f. 
' clarfiuch.' Feminine monofyllables likewife add a fhort e 
to the Nominative; as ^ chias' f. an ear^ g. f* ' cluaife'; 
* limh' a bandj g. f- "' lidmhe' fh). ' ^ Particular 

(h) It is not improbable thiit antiently all feminine nouns^ 
except a few irregular ones, added a syllable to the nominative^ 
as e or a^ in forming the genitive. The jtranslators of the S. S. 


Part Ii.| OF sp£ECB. 51 

Particular Rtdesfir the Genitive* 

%• If the nominative ends in a vowel^ the |;enitiv« is like 
the nominative, as *tra* m. a time ov feafin^ g. f. *tra'; fo aUb 
;*beatha* f. life^ *cro* m. ^Jbeep-fdd^ *cliu' m.fame^ Muine* a 
many '^ Donncha' Duncan^ a man's name, and many others. 
Except ^o' f. a coivy g- s. *boih*j 'ctf im. a dog^ g. f, *coin'; 
^ru' f. the b^lfyy g. f. *broinn' or T)ronH,* 

2« Nouns ending in chd or rr hafve the gepiitive like the 
nominative j as 'uchd' m. the breqft^ *fliodhd' m. offsprings 
*feachd* m. a hoft^ 'reachd' m. Jiatuiey *cleachd' m. habit^ 
^beachd* m. vjfo//, *finachd* m. authority^ 'fuachd' m. cMj^ 
'Iprochd' m. gloomy ^beannaqhd' m. a blejftng^ 'n^omhachd' f. 
holinefs *earr' m. the tail^ *torr* m. a heap* Except 'flochd* g. 
f. ^fluichd' m. a pit^ unlefs this word fliould rather be writ- 
ten 'floe/ like *boc, cnoc, foe/ 

Jireamy g 
grace^ or charm, ^. f. *aigh* ^i) 

4» Monofyllahles dbarafterifed by to either drop the o or 
add a for the genitive ; as 'fiol' m. feed^ g. f. *sll'j 'Hon' m. 
a nety g. f. *lln'; 'crioch' f. a boundary j g. f. 'crkh'j 'cioch* f. 
the /^, g. f, ^cJche'; *fion' m* wincy g. f. '4fiona'5 'crios' m. 
a girdle, g. f. *criofa*; *fiodh' m. timber^ g. f. *fiodha\ Ex- 
cept *Crioft' or Criofd' m. Chrjfi, which has the gen. like 
the nomuiative, 

5. Many monoiyilables, whofe chara£leriftic vowel is ^ or 
Oy change it into u and infcrt i aftqr it 5 as *gob* m. the bill 


have sometimes formed the genitive of feminine polysyllables in 
this manner j as * sionagoige' from * sionagog,' Ma]:k v. 36, 38. 
But it appears more agreeable to the analog oE MA^etion that 
such polysyllables should now be written wi^Ht an e in the 

(t) It is probable that this noun should rather be written 
^h.. See M^ntknc^s Paraphrases, III, 3. also Lhuyd, ai4 
O^Brien, tn loco. 

52 OF THE PARTS [Part II. 

of a bird, g. f. ^guib'; *crodh' m, kiney g. f. *cruidh'; 'bolg' 
or *balg* m. a bag, g. f. ^builg'j 'clog' or *clag^ m. a M/j g, 

f. *cluig% 'lorg' f. 2ijaf, g. f. *luirge'; %ng* f, a^>, g. f, 
^luinge'i *alt' m. 2i Joint, g. f. *uilt ; *ald' m, a rivulet, g, f. 
*uild'; *car* m. ^ turn, g. f. *cuir'-, 'earn' nir a A«i/ ofjlones^ 

g. f, 'cuirn*. So alfo ^ccoF m. rnuftcy g. f. ^ciufl' : 'feoF m. a 
^j/, g. f. 'fiuil'. Except nouns in on and a few feminines, 
which follow the general rule : as *bron' x£L.jGrroiv, g, f. 
•brojn'; 'Ion', g. f. 'loin'j *cloch' or clach' f. 2iJtone, 
g^ f. 'cloiche'i *cos* or *cas' f. xhtfoot^ g. f. *coife': 'brog' 
f, zjhoe, g. f. 'brpigc*' So alfo 'clai\n' f. children, g. f. 
*cloinne'; 'crann m. a tree, g. f. *croinn\ 'Mac* m. ^fon, 
has its g. f« 'mic'* 

6» Polyfyllables charaderifed by ea change ea iiito i ; as 
'fitheach' m. a raven, g. f. 'fithich*j *cailleach' f. an old wo^ 
man, g. f. *caillich' (kj» Thefe two fuffer a fyncope,, and 
add e ; 'buidheann f. a company, g. f. 'buidhne'j 'fitheann' 
f, venifon, g. f. 'fithne/ 

Of monofyllables charaflerifed by ea, fome throw away a 
and infert i ; * as 'each' m. a horfe^ g. f. 'eich'i '))eann' f. a 
|>^^i, g. f. 'beinne'j ^ffarg' {. anger, g. f, *feirge,' — Some 


(k) Derivatives in an and ag should form tbeir genitive ac- 
cording to the general Rule, ain^ aig; and in pronunciation they 
do so. When the syllable preceding the termination ends in a 
small vowel, the Rule of * Caol re caol' has introduced an e into 
the final syllable, whkh is then written ean^ eag. In this case, 
writers have been puzzled how to form the 'genitive. The ter- 
minations Y'mVr, eaig, would evidently contain tpp many vowels fop 
a short syllable. To reduce this aukward number of vowels 
they have commonly thrown out the a^ the only letter which 
properly expressed the vocal sound of the syllable. Thus from 
*caimean' m. a nwte^ they formed the gen. sing, 'caimein'j from 
*cuilean' m. a whelp, g. s. 'cuilein' j from 'duileag^ f. a leaf^ g. 
s. 'duileig' ; from 'caileag* f. a girl, g. s. 'caileig'. Had they 
not yielded too far to the encroachments of the Rule of *Caol re 
caol' they would have written both the nom. and the gen. of 
these and similar nouns more simply and more justly, thus \ 
'caiman' g. s. ^caimain' \ *cuilan' g. s. 'cuilain' \ 'duilag' jg. s. 
y uilaig' 5 'cailag' g. s. 'cailaig'. 


change ea into i ; as Hireac' m. a trouty g. f. %ric'$ 'fear* m, 
a man, g. f. *fir^; *ceann' m. a A^^, endf g. f. 'cinn'; •preas' 
m. a ^1^, g. f. *pris' ; ^breac' f. t\ie ftnalUpox^ g. f. *brice' ; 
*cearc' f, a hen^ g. f. 'circe'; *leac' £• a^j:, g. f. *licc.' *Gleann' 
m. a valley y adds ^, g. f . *glinne.*— ^me add a to the nomina- 
tive j as 'fpeal' m. z/cythe, g. f. *fpeala.* *Dreana* (> people, 
race ; ^gean' m. humour ; have their genitive like the nomina- 
tive. *Feall' f. deceit, g. f. 'foill' or *feill*. 'Geagh' m. a goofe, 
makes g. f. 'geoigh.' 

7. Nouns in ^x^ followed by a liquid, change i/ into and 
infert 1 after it ; as 'neul' m, a ^^fc«rf, g. f. 'ncoirj 'eun' m. 
a bird% g. f. *eoin'; *feur' m. gra/sy g. f. 'feoir*; *meur' m. 
^finger, g. f. 'meoir*-, 'leus' m. a iorch, g, f. 'leois/ 'Beul' 
m. the nitfw/i, g. f. *beil' or *beoil'j *fgeur m. a tale, g. f, 
* fgeil' or *fgeoil/ Other nouns charadterifed by eu add a 
ferthe gen. as 'trend' m. zjftock, g. f. *treuda'; *feum' m. ufe, 
med, g. f. *feumaV *beum' n^. z^roke^ g« f. ^beuma.' *Mcud' 
m. bulkf^baic m, a roar^ 'freutnh' f. z^fiire^ root, hardly ad- 
^t of a, but have their gen. rather like the nom. 

8. Monofyllables charadterifed by ia change ia into eij 
as *fliabh' m. a moor^ g. f. 'fleibh'; •fiadh' m. a decry g. f« 
'fei^'; *biadh* m. foody g. f. 'beidh' or *bidh'; *iafg' ra.jijhy 
gt f. *eifg'; *grian' f. xhitfun, ^. f. greine'; *fciath* f. a njoing^ 
g. f. «fccithe-' Except *Dia' m. God^ g. f. *De*; 'fcian f. a 
hjife, g. f. 'fcine/ 

'Piuthar f. aj^^r, has g. f. •peathar'; leanabh' m. a chUd, 
g. f. 'leinibh'; 'ceathramh' m. 2^ fourth part^ gl f. *ceithrinih'; 
^bidh' or 'leaba' f. a bedy g. f. *leapa'j ^talamh' m. Mr^i&, 
g, C *tahnhain/ < 

The Dative fingular of mafculine nouns is like the nomx« 
sative ; of feminine nouns, is like the genitive ; as ^tobar' 
m* a nveli, d* f* 'tobar'; 'clarfach' f. a harp, g. f. and d. C 
'darfaichV 'mifneacK' f. couragcy g. f. and d. (• ^mifiridu' 
Particular, Rules for the Dative of feminine nouns. 
• If it e W2^ added to the nominative in forming the ge- 
nitive^ it is thrown away in the dative ^ as 'flat' ft a rody g. 

f. 'flaite 

54 OF THE PARTS [Part II. 

f. 'flaite' d. f. <flait'j *grian' f. the fan, g. f. *gr««»e' ^ f- 

2. If the nominative fuffered a fjmcope in formiog the 
genitive^ or if the laft vowd of the genitive b broad, the 
dative is like the nominative ; as 'buidheann f. a compatp^ 

g. f. ^buidhne' d. f« 'buidhcann'j *piuthar' f. ^Jijlery g» £ 
'peatfaar' d. f. ^piuthar.' 

The Vocative of mafc. nouns is like the genitive ; of femi- 
nine nouns is like the nominative; as ^bas' m« deaths g. f. 
*bais' V. £. *bhais'; *cu' m. a dog^ g. f. 'coin' v. f, 'choin'; 
'grian' f. the fun, v. £ 'ghrian'; Sgaoth' f. the vmd^ y« £ 

Plural Number • 

Nwtinative, Mafculine nouns which tnfert i m the geo« 
fing. have their nom. plur. like the gen. iing.; as ^oglach* 
«!• afervant^ g. f. ^oglaich^ n. p. 'oglaich'; ^fear' ni» a num^ 
g. f. and n. p. '£r/ Many of thefe form their nom* pliir* 
alio by adding a fliort a to the nominative fingular. Other 
mafi:uline nouns, and ail feminine nouns, - have their nom* 
{durai in a^ to ivhich ti, is added, eufbonim caufa^ before in 
initial vowd (I)* 
Partki^ar Rules for forming the Nom. Plur. in or a«. 

1. By adding a to the nom. fingular ; as Mubbar' nu « 
foadowy n. pi fdubhara'; S'io^iachd' f. a iitigdonr, a. p. 

'rioghachdan.' Under this Rule, fbme nouns fufier a fyifr- 
cope; as ^dorus' m, a do9ry n. p. doria' for Morufii.' 

2. Nouns ending in / or nn^ often infert t before a t jb 
'reul' m. a Jiar^ n. p. *reulta'; *beann* f. a pinnaele^ n. p. 
^annta.' So ^lon' m. a marfby n. p. %intean.' 

C/J In many instances, the Plural termination a is oCtener 
written with this £nal n than without it. When the vowel pre. 
ceding the termination is small, the termination a or an is very \ 
needlessly written e or ean^ to preserve the correspondence of .j 

part II.] OF SPEECH. 55 

3. Some nouns in ar drop the a, and add to the nom. 
fing. the fyUable aki; .and then the final a becomes /, to cor- 
rcfpond to the preceding fmall vowel ; as 'leabhar' m. a book^ 
n. p. *lcabhraiche'i 'tobar* m. a w*?//, n. p. tobraiche'; *lann' 
£ an enchfure^ inferts d, n. p. *lanndaiche/ *Piuthar' f. a 

Jijtery from the g. f. ^peathar% has n, p. peathraichc'i fo 
4eaba* t. a bed, g. f. leapa* n. p. *leapaiche/ 'Bata' m. a 

Jli^y n. p. batacha*; *la* or *latha* a day^ n. p. 'lathachan' 
or *laithcan/ 

4. Some poljrfyllables in ach add e or ^an to the genitive 
fingular ; as *mullach' m. fumrnity g. f. *mullaich' n. p. 
'mullaichean'j 'otrach* m. a dunghill^ n. p. •otraichean*; 
'clarfach' f. a harp, n. p. *clarfaichean'5 Meudach* f. the 
jawy n. p. Meudaichean/ So ^fliabh* m, a tnoor^ g. f. 

*fleibh^ with / inferted, n. p. ^fleibhte.* 'Sabbnl' m. a 
a barn, g. f. *fabhuil', n. p. •faibhlean', contracted for 

The following Nouns form their Nominative Plural ir- 
regularly : *Dia' m. 6W, n. p. *dec' or ^diathan'; *fcian' f. 
a knifes n. p. Tceana' or fcinichcan'; ^fluagh' m. pesfk^ li. p. 
*floigh'; *bo' f. a cow, n. p. *ba/ 

Genitive, i. Monofyllables, and nouns which form their 
nominative plural like the genitive fingular, have the geni- 
tive plural like the nominative fingular y as 'gcug' f» a branch, 
g. p. 'geug'; *coimhearfnach' m. a neighbour, g. f. and n, p. 
•coimhearfnaich', g. p. coimhearfnach.' 

2. Polyfyllables which have their nominative plural in a 
or any form the genitive like the nominative 5 *leabhar m. 
a book, n. p. and g. p. ^eabhraichean.'— When the nomina- 
tive plural is twofold, the genitive is fo too ; as *fear' m. a 
many n. p. *fir*, or fometimes Yeara, g. p. *fear' or feara/ 

*Cu' m. a dog, has its g. p. *con'; *caora' f. ^Jbeep, g. p. 
'caorach'; ^fluagh' m. people, g. p. *iluagh' or *flogh.' 

Dative, i. The dative plural is formed either from 
the nominative fingular or from the nominative plural. If 


56 OF THE PARTS [Part II. 

the nominative plural ends in a confonant, the dative plural 
is formed by adding ibh' to the nominative iingular ; as^ 
*crann' m. a tree, n. p. *croinn', d. p. ^crannaibh'; 'mac' m. 
2 Jin, n. p. ^mic' d. p. 'macaibh.' — If the nominative plu- 
ral ends in a vowel, the final vowel is changed into i6i i 
as *tobar' a welly n. p. *tobraiche', d. p. 'tobraichibh/ 

2. MonofyUables ending in an aipirated confonant^ which 
have their nominative plural like the genitive Angular^ form 
their dative plural like the nominative plural ; as *damh' an 
$My g. f. and n. p. ^daimh' d. p. ^daimh' not Mamhaibh'; 
'fiadh' m. a deer^ g. f. and n. p. and d. p. ^feidh.' So 
^41uagh' m. people, hoji, g. f. *fluaigh', n. p. and d. p, ^floigh.' 
—Nouns ending in ch, of three or more fyllables^ form their 
dative plural like the nominative* plural, rather than in ibh / 
as ^coimhearfnach' m. a neighbour^ d. p. 'coimhearfhaich' ra- 
ther than ^coimhearfnachaibh^; 'phairifeach' m. a Pharifee, 
d. p. ^hairifich' rather than ' phairlfeachaibh.' 

. Vocative. The vocative plural is like the nominative plu- 
ral, terminating in a, but feldom in an ; as 'fear' m. a many 
n. p. *fir' or 'feara', v. p. 'fhcara'; *oglach' m. zfervant^ 
n. p. 'oglaich', v. p. 'oglacha.' Except perhaps monolyl- 
lables which never form their nominative plural in a, nor 
their dative plural in ibh\ ?& 'damh' m. an ox, n. p. Mainah*, 
T. p. ' dhaimh'; 'a fhloigh' Rom. xv. 1 1. 

The irregular noun 'Bean' f. a woman, is declined thus : 

Singular. Plural, 

Norn. Bean Mnai, mnathan 

Gen, Mna Ban 

Dat. Mnaoi Mnathaibh 

Foe. Bhean. Mhnathan. 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 57 


Cealgair, masc. a deceiver. 

Singular, PluraL 

Norn. Gealgair Cealgairc 

Gen. Gealgair Cealgair 

Dat. Cealgair Cealgairlbh 

Voc. Chealgair. Chealgaire. 

Clais, fern, a gully. 
Nam. Clais Claisean 

Oen. Glaise Clais 

Dot. Clais Claisibh 

Voc^ Chlais. Chlaise* 

Formation of the cases of nouns of the second Declension. 

Singular number. 
General Rule for the Genitive. The genitive of polysyl- 
lables is like the nominative ; of monosyllables is made by 
adding e to the nominative ; as ^caraid' m. a friend^ g. s. 
'caraid'; ^aimsir' f. time^ g. s. 'aimsir'; High' m. a house^ g. 
9b Highe^; ^ainm' m. a name^ g. s. 'ainme'; 4m' m. butter, 
g. s. *ime'; *craig' i. a rock^ g. s. ^craige.' 

Particular Rules for the Genitive. 

1. Feminine nouns in ail and air drop the { and add ach ; 
if the nominative be a polysyllable, ai is thrown away ; as 
*sail' f. a beam^ g. s. *salach'j *dail* f. zplain^ g. s. *dalach'; 
*lair' f. a mare^ g. s. *larach*; 'cathair* f. a seat^ g. s. *cath-, 
rach'; *nathair' f. a serpent^ g. s. ^nathrach'; *lasair' f. a 

flame^ g. s. *lasrach.' To these add *c6ir' f. right^ g. s, 
*c6rach' or *c6ire.' 

2. Monosyllables characterised by oi drop i and add a ; 
as *feoir i. fleshy g, s. *feola'; *t6in' f. bottom^ g, s. 't6iia% 
*sr6in' f the nose^ g, s. 'sroine' or *sr6na.' 

H 3. Mono. 

58 OF THE PARTS ' [Part II. 

' 3. Monosyllables characterised hj ui change ui into a ov 
p, and add a y as *muir* f* the sea^ g. s. Hnara*; *fuil' f. bloody 
g, s. 'fola' or 'fala'; *driiim' f. a ridge^ g. s. *droma.' Except 
*siiil* f. the eye^ g. s. 'sula'; *cuid' f. 2, party g. s. *codach' or 

4. A few feminine polysyllables in eir form their geni- 
tive like monosyllables ; as 'inneir' f. dung^ g. s. 'inneire'j 
*suipeir* f. supper ^ g. s. *suipeire.' 

5. The following dissyllables seem to have formed their 
genitive like monosyllables, and then suffered a contraction. 
Sometimes the characteristic vowel is retainedf and some- 
times it is thrown away : the final e of the genitive being 
converted into a^ when requisite to suit an antiecedent broad 
vowel. ^ 
^mkaimiy f. a river^ g. s. aimhne,ro/r/rar^^^ybramhainne 

Aghainn "> 

^° >f. a /»fl«, g. s. aighne, ...aghamne 

Aghann ^ ^ ° ^ 

Banais f. a weddings g. s. bainse,..*........ .banaise 

Coluinn f. the hody^ g. s. colna, colla^ .••....••coluinne 

Duthaich f. a country^ g. s. duthcha, duthaiche 

Fiacail f. a toothy g. s. fiacla^ fiacaile 

Gamhuinnm. zsteer^ g. s. gamhna, gamhuinne 

Gualainn i.ih^houlder^g,^, guaille, gualainne 

Madainn f. mornings g. s. maidne, madainne 

Obair f. work^ g. s. oihre, ....* obaire 

Uilinn f. the elbow^ g. s. uille^. .uilinne 

e. The following nouns form their genitive by dropping 
the characteristic small vowel; *athair' n^. 2l father^ g. s« 
*athar'; *mathair' f. a mother^ g. s. *mathar'; *brathair* m. a 
brother^ g. s. 'brathar'; *namhaid' m. an enemy ^ g. s. *namhad«* 
'Cnaimh' f. a bone^ g. s. *cnamha'; 'uaimh* f. a cave^ g. s* 
*uamha.' *Mil' f. honeyy has g. s. *meala.' 

7. A few monosyllables ending in a vowel have their 
genitive like the nominative ; as *ni' m. a things Hi' m. a 
person^ *re* m. the moon ; to which add *righ' m. a kif^. 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 59 

• Dmtive. The dative singular is like the nominative ; as 
Maine' m. a man, d. s. ^duine', Hnadainn' f. morniftgj d. s. 

Vocative. The vocative singular is like the notninative ; 
as ^araid' m. friend^ v. s. ^charaid'j ^mathair' f. mother ^ v. 
s. ^mhathair.' 

Plural Number. 

Nomittotwe.'-^General Rule. The nominative plural is 
formed by adding to the nominative singular a ox an^ writ- 
ten e or ean to correspond to a preceding small vowel ; as 
*piobair* m. 2l piper ^ n. p. *piobairean'; *aimsir* f. time^ sea- 
son, n. p. 'aimsirean.' — Some nouns suffer a contraction in 
the nominative plural ; as ^caraid' m* z. friend^ n. p. 'caird- 
ean'; ^namhaid' m* an enemy^ n. p. ^aimhdean'^ ^acail' f* 
a tooth, n. p. ^fiaclan.' 

Particular Rules. 1. Some noufis, whose last consonant 

is / or /7, insert t in the nominative plural ; as 'tuil' f. a 

JUiod^ n. p. 'tuilte'; ^smuain' f. thought, n. p. 'smuaintean'; 

^coille' f. a wood, n. p. 'coilltean'j 'aithne' f. a command, n. 

p« ^aithnte.'- The t is aspirated in Mail' f. 2, plain, n, p. 

' Mailthean'; 'sail' f. a beam, n. p. Wlthean.' 

2. Some nouns in air, chiefly such as form their geni- 
tive singular in ach, retain the sacbie syllable in the nomina- 
tilre plural, and insert i after a ; as 

Cathair, f. a seat, g. s. cathrach; n. p. catiiraichean. 

Lasair, f. 2, flame, g. s. lasrach, n. p. lasraichean. 

Nathair, f. a j^^/ g. s. nathrach, n. p. nathraicheaa. 
So also *cuid' f. %part, from the g. s. *codach% has the n. 
p. *codaichean'; 'athair' m. ^ father, ft. p. *aithrichean*; 
*mathair' f. a mother, n. p. *maithrictiean.' To which add 
^sunhainn' f. a river, q. p. ^aimhnichean'; *uisge* m. water, 
n. p. Hiisgeachan'; ^cridhe' m. the heart, n. p. 'cridheachan.' 

The following nouns form fheir A6minativ6 plural irre- 
gularly J Muine' m. a man, n* p. 'daoine*; 'righ' m. a king. 

60 OF THE PARTS [Part 11. 

n, p. 'righre*; 'ni' m. a thing, n. p. 'nithe'; 'cliamhuinn* 
m« a sofi'ln-lawy or brother-in-law^ n. p. ^cleamhna.' 

Genitive, The genitive plural of monosyllables and mas- 
culine polysyllables^ is twofold, both like the nominative 
singular, and like the nominative plural ; as ^gh' in. a 
^^^E^ S* P* *righ' or 'righre.' The genitive plural of femi- 
nine polysyllables is like the nominative plural only ; as 
*amhainn' f. a river, g. p. *aimhnichean.' — *Suil' f. the eye, 
has its g. p. 'suL* 

Dative. The dative plural is formed from the nomina- 
tive plural by changing the final vowel into ibh; vl% 'coluinn' 
f. the hody^ n, p. *coluinne', d. p. 'coluinnibh*; *cridhe' m. 
the hearty n. p. *cridheacha% d. p. *cridheachaibh.' 

Vocative, The vocative plural is like the nominative 
plural ; as *duine' m. a man, n. p. *daoine', v. p. 'dhaoinc.' 

Final a or ^ in all the singular cases of polysyllables is oc- 
casionally cut off, especially in verse ; as *leab* hed^ Heang^ 
tongue^ *coill' wood, *cridh- hearts 

Of the Initial form of Nouns. 

In nouns beginning with a consonant, all the cases ad-> 
mit of the aspirated form. In the vocative singular and 
plural the aspirated form alon^ is used ; except in nouns 
beginning with a lingual, which are generally in the primji- 
ry form, when preceded by a lingual; as *a sheann duine* 
old piafif Nouns beginning with s followed by a mute con- 
sonant have no aspirated form, because s in that situation 
does not admit of the aspirate. In nouns beginning with /, 
«, r, a distinction is uniformly observed in pronouncing the 
initial consonant, corresponding precisely to the distinction 
of primary and aspirated forms in nouns beginning with 
other consonant?. This distinction l^as already been fully 
gfated in treating of pronunciation. 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 61 

The>^ general use of the singular and plural numbers has 
been already mentioned. A remarkable exception occurs 
in the Gaelic. When the numerals *fichead* twenty^ 
^eud' a hundred^ 'mile' a tbousandy are prefixed to a 
noun ; the noun is not put in the plural, but in the singular 
number, and admits no variation of case. The termination 
of a noun preceded by *da' twoj is the same with that of the 
dative singular, except when the noun is governed in the 
genitive case, and then it is put in the genitive plural (m) ; 
when preceded by ^fichead, ceud,' &c. the termination is 
that of the nominative singular ; thus, 'da laimh' two hands, 
Ma chluais' two ears^ *da f hear' two men^ 'fichead lamh' 
twenty hands^ 'ceud fear' a hundred men^ *mlle caora' a thoU" 
^and sheep ^ *deich mile bliadhna' ten thousand years (n). 


An Adjective is a word used along with a noun, to ex- 
j>ress some quality of the person or thing signified by the 

Adjectives undergo changes which mark their relation to 
other words. These changes are made, like those on nouns, 
partly on the beginning, and partly on the termination ; and 
s^y be fitly denominated by the same names. The changes 
on the beginning are made by aspirating an initial consonant. 
The numbers and cases, like those of nouns, are distinguish- 

(^ni) We are informed by E. O'C. that this is the usual con- 
struction in the Irish Dialect, and it appears to be the same in 
the Scottish. Thus, 'air son mo dha ^xiX^ for my two eyes.^'^ 
Judg. xvi. 28. Ir. & Scott. Versions. 

(^n^ So in Hebrew, we find a noun in the singular number 
joined with the numerals twenty^ thirtyy a hundred^ a tbou^ 
sand^ kc. 

62 OF THE PARTS . [Part Hi 

^ed bj changes on tfie termination. The gender is marked' 
partly bj the initial form, partly by the termination. 

Adjectives whereof the characteristic vowel is broad, fol- 
low, in most of their inflections, the form of nOuns of the first 
declension ; and may be termed Adjeotives of the ^rst declen- 

* sion. Those adjectives whereof the char^teristic vowel is 
smally may be called Adjectives of the second declension. 

Example of Adjectives of the First Declension. 

Mor, great. 

Singular. Plural. 

Masc, Fen,in. Common Gend. 

Norn. Mor, Mhor, Mora. 

Gen. Mhoir, Moire, Mora. 

Dat. Mor, Mhoir, Mora. 

Fbc. Mhoir, Mhor, Mora. 

Formation of the Cases of Adjectives of the First Declension. 


Nominative* The feminine gender is^ in termination, like 
the masculine^ 

The, other cases, both masc. and fem. ftre formed from 
the nominative, according to the Rules already given for 
forming the cases of nouns of the first declension. Take 
the following examples in adjectives. 

Genitive. -^General Rule. *MarbhV^^wf, g.s. m. *mhairbh' 
f. *mairbhe'; *dubh» blacky g. s. m. *dhuibh% f. *duibhe'j 
^fadalach' tedious^ g. s. m. ^fhadalaich', 'fadalaich. 

Particular Rules. 1. ^na' ^oppy^ g« s. m. *shona', f. 
*sona'; 'aosda' aged^ g. s. m. and f. *aosda'; *beo' alive^ g. s. 
m. *bheo% f. *beo.' 

, 2. *Bochd* pwTj g. s. m. *bhochd', f. *bochd'i 'gcarr' 
shorty g. s. m. *ghearr% f. *gearr.' 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 63 

3. *Breagh'^j(»^, g. 9. m. ^bhreagha'^ f. ^breagha.' 
4- 'Crion' little^ diminutive^ g. s. m. *chrin', f. *ciine.' 

5. *Donn' brown^ g. s. m. ^dhuiiiti% f. ^dujnne'; *gorm' 
hlue^ g. s. m. *ghuirm', f. guirme' j *lom' bare^ g. s. m. *luim% 
f. *luime'/— But *daU» hUnd^ g. s. m. *dhoill», f. *doiUe'; 
*mall' j/ow, g. s. m. *mhoill% f. *qioille'; like the nouns 
*crann, clann.' 

6. *Cinnteacfa* certain^ g. s. m. *chinntich*, f. 'cinntich'5 
^maiseach' beautijid^ g. s. m» Hnhaisich\ f. 'maisich.'— —— 
*Tearc, rare^ g. s. m* *theirc', f. *teirce'; *dearg' red^ g. s. 
m. *dheirg%,f. *deirge'; *deas' ready , g. s. m. 'dheis', f. 
*deise.'— *Bre^c' spedled, g. s. m. *bhric% f. ^brice'j * geaP 
'white^ g. m. *ghir f. *gile.* 

7. *Geur' sharps g. s. m. *gh^ir', f. geire^; like the nouns 
^reug, geug.' 

8. *Liath' hoary^ g- s. m, *leith' f. *16ithe^; 'dian* keen^ g. 
s. m. *dh6in% f. 'deine/ 

Irregulars. *Odhar*/>ai^, g. s. m. and f. 'uidhir'^ *bodhar* 
deaf^ g. s. m. 'bhuidhir', f. *buidhir.' 

Dative. -^General Rule. ^Uasal' noble^ d. s. m. ^uasal% f. 
*ijasail*i 'bpdhar' deqf^ d. s. m. 'bodhar', f. *bhuidhir.' 

Particular^ Rule. 1. *Trom' hea^oy^ d. s. m. *trom', f. 

Vocative. *Beag' small^ v. s. m. *bhigV f. *bheag.' 


In Monosyllables the Plural, through all its Cases, is 
formed by adding a to the nom. sing. ; in Polysyllables, it 
is like the nom. sing, as *crom' crooked^ pi. ♦croma'; Huirs- 
each' melanchdyy pi. *tuirseach.' 

A few Dissyllables form their Plural like Monosyllables, 
and suffer a contraction; as 'reamhar'^/, pi. *reamhra% 
contracted fpr ^feamhara.' Gen. xli« 20. 


64 OP THE PARTS [Part If, 

Adjectives of the Second Declension. ' 

All the Cases of Adjectives of the Second Declension 
are formed according to the General Rules for nouns of the 
second declension ; that is^ Monosyllables add e for the gen., 
sing, femin. and for the plural cases ; Polysyllables are like 
the nom. sing, throughout. 

In the second Declension, as in the first, Dissyllables 
' sometimes suffer a contraction in the Plural \ as 'milis' sweety 
pi. *milse' contracted for *milise.' . 

Of the Initial Form of Adjectives. 

Adjectives admit the aspirated Fprm through all the 
Numbers and Cases. In Adjectives beginning with a La- 
bial or a Palatal, the aspirated Form alone is used in the 
gen. and voc. sing. masc. the nom. dat. and voc. sing, 


Comparison of Adjectives. • 

There arc in Gaelic two forms of Comparison, which 
may be called the^rj^ and the second Comparative. 

The frst Comparative is formed from the gen. sing. xna&. 
by adding ^; as 'geal' wbite^ g. s. m. *gil', comp. ^gile' 
*ghile'; 'ciontach' guilty, g. s. m. 'ciontaich', comp. *ciont- 
aiche.' — Some Adjectives suffer a contraction in the Com- 
parative ; as 'bodhar' deaf comp. *buidhre' for *buidhire'; 
*boidheach'/>r^//^, comp. *boidhche' for boidhiche.' 

If the last letter of the gen. be a^ it is changed into e^ and 
/ inserted before the last consonant ; as <fada' long, g. s. m. 
*fada', comp. 'faide'j *tana' tbin^ g. s. m. *tana% comp, 

The second Comparative is formed from the first, by 
changing final e into id ; as *trom' heavy ^ 1. comp. *truime', 


Part II.] 



2. comp. Hruimid'} *tiugh' tbick^ 1. comp. *tiuighe', 2. comp. 
*tiuighid.* Many Adjectives, especially Polysyllables, do 
hot admit of the second Comparative. . 

Both these forms of Comparison have an aspirated as 
well as a primary Form, but are otherwise indeclinable. 

The following Adjectives are compared irregularly. 


1. Comp. 

2. Comp, 

Math, maith^ goodj 



Olc, bad, evily 






Beag, sma/^j 



Goirid, gearr, short, 



Duilich, difficulty 



T:t2X\b6ty - 



Leathan, hi'odd^ 

' Icatha, lithne. 


Yogas, near ^' 


Cairdeach, akin. 


Fnras, easy. 



Toigh, deis^,' 


• ' 

lonmhuin, beloved^ 

i annsa. ' 
1 ionnsa« 

■ * : . ■ ■ 

To these may be adde4 the noun. 
Morao, a great number or quantity ^ 


t *i\ t 

The Superlative J which, is but a particular mode of ex- 
pressing comparison, is the same in form with the first 

An eminent degree of any quality is expressed by putting 
ope of the particles *ro, gle,^ before the Positive ; as ^ro 
ghlic' very wise, *gl6 ghe^' ven/ white. The same effect is 
produced by prefixing •'fiot' true^ *sar* exceeding^ &c. which 
words are, in that case, used adverbially ; as 'fior mhaiseach' 
^rufy beauti/ul^ *sar mhaitb' exceedingly/ good. 

I Cardinal 

Dp OF THE ?ABTS L-^^art 11. 

Cardinal Nm?a1?crs. 

I AoHf a h-a©.n,t (w. 

40 Pa fhichead. 

2 Da, a dha. 

5Q Deich is dafhichead 

3 Tri, 

60 Trifichea^, 

4 Q^&ir. 

IQO Ceud, 

5 Cuig^, 

200 Da ch^ud. 

6 Se, ^a. 

3^00 Tri ceud. 

7 Seaolxd. 

400 Ceithir cheud. 

8 Ochd, 

500 Cuig ctx^^ 

9 Naoi^ 

, 1,000 Mile. 

10 Dfic^. • 

2,00e Da mhil^ 

11 AQn4cMJ' 

3,000 Tri mlf, 

12 A dha dheug. 

10,000 Deiciv ijftitc. 

3 3 Tri deug. 

20,000 Fichead ixuIq. . 

20 Fichead, 

100,000 Ceudq^l^,^ 

2 1 Aon thar f hichead^ 

200,000 Da cheu4 IftUc^* 

22 Dha 'r f hiphead. 

2^000,000 Deich e^i:^d mUe. 

23 Tri 'ar fhichead. 

Mile de mhUtiljth. 

30 Deich 'ar fhichead. 


3 1 Aon deug thar f hiches^i^ 

Cardinal Numbers joined to a Noun 
Of the masc. gendti^. Of* the fern, gender. 

Aon chlach, one stone. 
Da chloich. 
TTri olaehan. 
'Detoh olaohan.. 
Aon chlach dheug. 
pi^ chlQicb dheug. 
Tri cUehan d«ug% 
Ficl])^ clsK;h. 
^on^ ^Vlach thar fhiphfad. 
P^ chWich thv f highead.^ 
T^i olacha fichead^ 

Deich clacha fichead. 
3J Aon (hear deug *arfhiche?d, Aon chlach dheug thar fhichead. 

38 D^ 

1 Aon f hear, one man: 

2 Di f hear. 

3 Tt^'fir: . -^ 

10 Deich fir 

1 1 Aon f hear deug. 
10 D^ f bear dhei\g. 

13i T" ir dhf^ug. 

20 Fichead fear. 

21 Aon f hear thar fhich^^d 
2^ D^ fhj^ar thar f hichf s^d. 
23 Tri fir fhichead- 

30 Deich fir fhichead. 

Part It] OP stjetCH. 67 

.40 BilfhfeheAd feaf Da f hichead clacb. 

41 Fear is da f hichead. Clach is d^ f hichead. 

42 DAfh^ieit isda f hichead. D^ chloicfa is da fhichead. 
50 Dtichfed^ (hichead fear Deich is da f Uchead dlach. 
60 Tri fichead fear, [deich Tri fichead clach. 

70 Tri fichead fear agus Tri fichead clacli agus deich. 

100 Ceud fear. Ceud clach. 

101 Ceud fear agus ah-aon. Ceud clach agus a h-aon. 
309 Tri cheUd fear. Tri cheud clach. 

1,000 Mile fear. Mile clach. 

l6,OdO i)eich mi]e fear, &c. beich mile chacli, &c 

Ordinal Numbers. 

1 An ceud f hear, the first man ; a' cheud chlacb, the first 

2 An d&ta £^ar. [stone. 

3 An tr^ad fear, an tri-amh fear. 

4 An ceathramfa feiar. ^ . 

5 An cuigeamh fear. 

6 An seatbadh fear. 

t An seachdamb fear. 

8 An t-ochdamh fear. 

9 An naothamb fear. 

10 An deicbeamb fear. 

11 An t-aon fhear deug. 
* 12 An dara fear deug. 

20 Am ficbeadamh fear. 

21 An t-aon fhear fichead. 

22 An data feat fbichdad. 

31 An t-aon fheaf deug thar f hichead. 
40 An da f hicheadamh fear. 
60 An tri ficbeadamb fear. 
100: An ceudamh fear. 
161 All t-aon fhear thar cheud. 
200 Am ficbeadaoQ^h fear thar cheud. 
' 200 An da cbeudamh fear* 
iooo Am mUeamh fear, gee. « * 


The following numeral Nouns are applied only to per- 


2* Dithis, two persons. 7. Seachdnar. 

3. 'triuir. 8. Ochdnar. 

4. Ceathrar. . Q. Naoinar 

5. Ciiignear. 10. Deichnar. 
0. Seanar. 


The Pronouns are, for the most part, words used instead 
of nouns. Thej may be arranged under ttie following di- 
visions ; Personal, Possessive, Relative, Demonstrative, In- 
terrogative, Indefinite, Compound. 

The Personal Pronouns are those of the 1st, 2d, and 3d 
persons. They have a Singular and a Plural Number, a 
Simple and an Empfiatic Form. They are declined thus : 

Singular. ' Plural. 

Simple Form, Emphat. F. Simple F. Emphat* 

1 . Mi, mhi, /, me, Mise, mhise. Sinn, nve, uSy Sinne. 

2. < rp/ ./ ' ?Tu8a, thusai- Sibh, ye, you^ Sibhse. 



C©;) The Pronouns *tu' thou^ 'fic' be^ *si* sbe^ *siad' they^ are 
hot employed, like other nominatives, to denote the object after 
a transitive verb. Hence the incorrectness of the following ex- 
pression in most editions of the Gaelic Psalms : ' Se chrunas tu 

* le coroo graidh,' Psal. ciii. 4. which translated literally signi- 
fies, // is be wbom thou wilt crown^ &c. To express the true 
sense, viz* // is be wbo will crown tbee^ it ought to have been 

* 'se chrunas tbtt le coron graidh.* So * is mise an Tighearn a 

* shlanuicheas /i6/z,' / am tbe Lord that healeth thee^ £xod. xv. 
26. ^ Ma ta e ann a fhreagaireas tbu^ if there he a^y that will 
answer thee^ Job, v. 1. ^ Co e a bbrathas thu ?' Who is be that 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 69 


The Pronoun ^sibh' i/ou, of the plural number is used al- 
most universally in addressing a single person of superior 
rank or of greater age ; while 'tu' thou^ of the singular num- 
ber is used in addressing an inferior or an equal. But the 
degree of seniority or of superiority, which is understood to 
entitle a person to this token of respect, varies in different 
parts of the Highlands (p). The Supreme Being is al- 
ways addressed by the pronoun *tu' tBou^ of the singular 
number. , ' 

The Possessive Pronouns correspond to the Personal Pro- 
nouns ; and, like them, may be called those of ^e 1st, 2d, 
and 3d persons singular, and 1st, 2d, and 3d persons plural* 
They have an emphatic Form, which is made by connect- 
ing the syllable sa with the possessive pronoun of the 1st, 2d, 
and 3d persons singular, and 2d person plural ; ne with that 
of the 1st person plural, and san with that of the 3d person 
plural. These syllables are placed immediately after the , 
nouns to which the possessive pronouns are prefixed, and 
connected by a hyphen. 

Thiese Pronouns are as follows : 
Simple^ Emphatic. Simple^ Emphatic. 

Singular. Plural. 

1, Mo,f»j;, momhac-sa I. Ardour, ar mac-ne 

2. Do, thjy do sa 2. Bhur,'ur,;wwr, bhur— sa 

C A.^ij, amhac'sa.san') . \.f . 

3- J.A>«.;amac-sa,sani3- An, am, /A«r, an, am-sa san 


V)Ui betray thee? John, xxi. 20. Comp. Gen. xii. 3. and xxvii. 


^p^ This use of the Pronoun of the 2d person plural is pro- 
bably a modern innovation j for there is nothing like it found 
in the more antient GaeUc compositions, nor in the graver poetry 
even of the present age. As this idiom seems however to be 
employed in conversation with increasing frequency, it will pro- 
bably lose by degrees its present import, and will come to be 
used as the common mode of addressing any individual ^ in the 
same manner, as ihe corresponding Pronouns are used in English, 
and other European languages. 

70 OF Ttife PA tins [Part 11. 

If the noufi be followed by im adjective, the emphatic 
fyllable is affixed to the adjeftive; as ^do Ikih gheal-fa' 
thy whtte hand. 

The pofleffivc pronouns *rtio, do', when foll6wed bjr a 
vowel, commonly lofe the Oy whofe abfence is marked hf 
an apoftrophe; as W ainm' my name; *d' athair' f^ ) thy 
father. The fame pronouns when preceded by the prepofi* 
tion 'ann' i>i, fufier a tranfpofition of their letters, and are 
i^ritten 'am, ad', one broad vowel being fubftituted for an- 
other ; as ^ann ad chridbe' in thy hearty i Sam. xiv* 7. 'ann 
am aire' in my thoughts. 

The pofleffive pronoun 'a' his, is often fuppre£ed altoge- 
ther after a vowel *, as ^na fanntaich bean do choimhearfnaich, 
no oglach, no bhanoglach, no dhamh, no afal' covet not thy 
neighbours wife, or his manfervant, or his maidfervantj &c« 
Exod. XX. 1 7. In thefe and iimilar inftances, as the fenfe 
is but imperfeftly cxprefled, (efpecially when the noun be- 
gitis with a vowel,) and cannot be gathered with certainty 
from any other part of the fentence ; perhaps it might be 
an improvement to retain the pronoun, even at the ex* 
pence of cutting oflF the final vowel of the preceding word 5 
as *n' a oglach, n' a bhanoglach', &Ci In many cafes, how- 
ever, this appears hardly prafticable ; as 'thi bheo athair* 
hisfdthcr is not alive^ Which could not With any propriety be 
written 'cha bheo a athairY^^- 

The word *fein' correfponding to the Englifli Word^ felf^ 
own, is fubjoined occafionally both to the perfocal and pof- 


(q^ There seems hardly a sufficient reason for changing the 
*^ in this situation into /, as has been often done, as 't'oglach' 
for *d' oglach' thy servant^ &c. The d corresponds sufRclentljr 
to the pronunciation *, and being the constituent consonant of 
the pronoun, it ought not to be changed for another. 

(r) The Irish are not so much at a loss to avoid a hiatus^ as 
they often use *na' for *a' his*, which the translators of the 
Psalms have sometimes judiciously adopted j is 
An talamh tioram le na laimh 
"do chruthaich e 's do ahealb^\. {"sal. xcv. 5,. . 

Paxte II.] ^F SFEEQH. 71 

lefGye pronouns ; thus *mi fein' tnyfelf^ ^mife fein' / m^felf^ 
*thu fein' th^eify 'thuifl fein'. tbgu ihsf4f% or thy <nvnfelf: *mo 
ihluagh fein' my own people. 

The other Pronouns are as follows :» 
. Relative* JDemonfirative. Interrogative. 

N* A, Hvhofwhich^that* S0| this^ thefe. Co ? who ? 
G.ScD. An. Sin, that^ thofe. Cia ? H»bich ? 

l^^ch^'Ufhortot;, Sudfsjtiiipjpu, C^odJ^cre^d^'V/kat? ^ 

which not* • 


Na^ thcU which* 

Iniefinke, , Compound. 

TSXffti, fome, E fo; this gne, m. E fud, yon ene^m* 

Ci b' {'^^^X^)^ I f<^> ^^ <'^^> ^* ^ ^"^> yot^oMf f. 
Elle, o^A^r, \ lad fo, /A^. lad fud, yon, pi. 

r» »i \^^^^> every. E fin, /A/i/ one^ m. Cach eile, /^^ re/I. 

Cz^hf others, the r^(xj* lad fin, tho(c, Cach a cheilc, each 
CuWij/Jm^ ether (y). 

(O In tlia North Highlands this Pronoun is pronounced 

(t) This Pronoun occurs in such ^pressions as *an deigh na 
chuala tu^ aftett what you bdwe heard; 'thoir leat pa th^ ^%^d^9 
or *na bheil agad% bring what you b^^ve. It seems to be con* 
tracted for ^ah ni a^ the thing which. 

(u) Thero is reason to think that <ge b^ e* is corruptij used 
for *eh h* e^ Of the former I find no satisfactory analysis. 
The latter ^eia b* e* is literally, whieh it he^ or which it were; 
-which is just the French qui qu0 C9 soit^ qui qu» cefdtj expressed 
in Eqglish by. one word whosoever^ whichs9€ver. We find ^ofa^ 
used in this sense and connection, FsaUcxxxv. 11. Glasg. 1753. 
*6ach uile riogfaaohd mar an ceadn' sia h-iomdha bhi fiad ann^ 
j^M kingdimis hk^mise^ hawe^er numerous they he. See also Geik. 
^▼. 9. Rom..!!. 1. ' 

(x-) This pronoun is found written with an initial c in 
thuyd's Archaeol. Brit. Tit. I. page 20. oel. 2* Veach*; again 



CHAP. V. — or VERBS. 

A WORD that fignifies to be, to do, or to fuffer any thing, 
is called a VerK 

The Verb in Gaelic, as in other languages, is declined by- 
Voices, Moods, Tenfes, Numbers, and'Perfons. 

The,/^(?/r^/ are twoj Aftive and Paffive* 

The Moods are five ; the Afiirmativc or Indicative, the 
Negative or Interrogative, the Subjunftive, the Imperative, 
and the Infinitive. Many, but not all, Tranfitive Verbs 
have a Paflive Participle. 

The Tenfes are three j the Prefent, the Preterite, and the 

The Numbers are two ; Singular and Plural. 

The Perfons are three ; Firft, Second, and Third. The. 
diftinfUon of number and person take place only in a few 


Tit. X. voc. ^Bealtine'j ^cecha bliadna^ each year. So also 
O'Brien, *cach' ally every^ like the French chaque. Irish Diet, 
voc. *cach'. 

(y^ The pronouns *cach eilc' and *cach a cheile' are hardly 
known in Perthshire. Instead of the former, they use the single 
word *cach' pronounced long, and declined like a noun of the 
singular number \ and instead of the latter, *a ch^ile'^ as in this 
example \ ^choinnich iad a ch^ile \ thuit cuid, agus tbeich c^h* 
they met each other ; some fell ^ and the rest fled. Here *cach* 
may be considered as a simple pronoun; but the first clause 
^choinnich iad a cheile' they met his fellow ^ hardly admits of any 
satisfactory analysis. The phrases, in fiict, seem to be ellipti- 
cal, and to be expressed more fully, according to the practice 
of other districts, thus \ ^choinnich iad each a ch^ile ; thuit - 
cuid, agus theich each eile'. Now, if •each' be nothing else 
than 'gach' e^ery^ (a conjecture supported by the short pronun- 
-elation of the <i, as well as by the authorities adduced in the* 
pBeceding note,) the expressions may be easily analysed ; 
^choinnich iad gach [aon] a cheile^ thuit cuid, agus theiqh; 
gach [aon] eilej they met every \one\ his fellow; some felly an4 
every other [one'] fled. See 1 Thess. v. 11. 

^ Part II.] 



The inflexions of Verbs, like thofe of ^ouns, are made 
by changes at the begiiinmgy and on the termination* 

The changes on the termination are made according to 
one model, and by the fame roles. But for the fake of 
ftating fome diverfity in the initiai changes, it may be con- 
venient to arrange the verbs in two conjugations : whereof 
the firft comprehends thofe verbs which begin with a con* 
fbnant ; the (econd, thofe verbs which begin with a vowel. 
Verbs beginning with /, followed by a vowel are ranged 
under the fecond conjugation^ along with verbs beginning 
with a vowel. 

The verb 'Bi' be, which is ufed as an auxiliary to other 
TdrbS) is declined as follows : 

Bi, he. 
Affirmative or Indicative Mood* 








I. Ta mi, lam. 

Bha mi, / was, Bithidh mi, IwiJl be. 

2. Ta thu. 

Bha thu, 

Bithidh tu. 

3. Taej 

Bha e; 

Bithidh fe ; 




I . Ta finn. 

Bha finn, 

Bithidh finn. 

2. Ta fibh, 

Bha fibh/ 

Bithidh fibh. 

3. Ta iad. 

Bha iad* 

Bithidh fiad. 

Negative or Interrogative Mood. 





" I Bheil mi, . 

lam not. 

Robh mi, / was not, 


2 Bheil thu, 

Robh thu. 


3 Bheil e \ 


Sobh e ; 

nach < 




. I Bheil Gnxiy 

Robh finn. 


2 Bheil fibh» 

Robh fibh. 

^ 3 BheU iad. 


Robh iad. 





[Part II. 

Preterite or Imperfcft. 

1 Bhithinn, I would be^ 

2 Bhitl;Leadh tu, 

3 Bhitheadh e; 


1 Bhitheamaidy 
Bhitheadh finn^ 

2 Bhitheadh £bh, 

3 Bhitheadh iad. 

Imperative Mood, 
Sing* . 

1 Bitheam, let me ffe, 

2 Bi, hi tbufa, 

3 Bitheadh e ; 


1 Bitheam^id, 

2 Bithibh, 

3 Bitheadh iad. 

Bi thu, 
Bi fe 5 - 

Bi finri, 
Bi fiad. 

SuhjunBive Mood, 

Mabhitheas mi, Ifljhallhe^ 
Bhitheas tu, 
Bhitheas e \ 

Bhitheas finn, . 

Bhitheas iibbV 
Bbkbeai iad. 

Infinitive Mood. 
Bith, heingy 
dQbhith,K , •' 

abhith, r^^' . 

gu t)hit'h> 

gu bith, 

iai* bhith, . ri , . , 
• t . , cojier' betng, been, 
lar bith, y ^ ^ 

to bey 


I Ta mi iar bith, 
I havf been,8iQ. 

Compound Tenfes, 


Affirmative Mood. 

Sing, Sing, 

Bha mi iar bith, Bithidh mi iar bith, 
/ hadbeen^ &c. I pall have heen^ &c. 



Negative Mood. 
Sing'm . Sing. Sing^ 

ni, CBheilmiiarbith^ Robh mi iar bitb, Bimiairbith. 
&c. (^I have not keen* 1 bad not been^ IflAU not have been. 


Subjun3ive Mood. 
Preterite or PluperfeA. Future. 

Sing. i ^ .1 .. . ^^g* 

I Bbithini>;iar bith, JLJbmld i|M[ji b^itlie?& v^izx bitbi If I 
Have heen^ &c. JbaU have been% ,&^.. 

The prefeiftt affirmative *t4' is^ oft^n wrltt^ii' 'tfia% This 
is one of many inflances . wbeve there appears reafon to 
complain of the propeniitj. remarked in Part I. in thofe 
who fpeak the Gaelic> to attenuate its articulations byafpi- 
ration. Another corrupt ^ay of writing 'ta' which has 
become common^ is 'ata'. This has probabl)^ taken its rife 
from uniting the relative to the verbj as *an uair ata mi'j 
inftead of 'an uair a ta^ Sec. 'mar a td^ &c. Or perhaps 
it may have proceeded from a too compliant regard to a 
provincial pronu];iciation# 

The pret. nsg. *robh' appears to be made up of the 
verbal particle W, the fame with *do', and 'bha', throwing 
away the laft vowel ; *ro bha, robh'. 

The verb and pronoun of the ift per. fing. and 3d per. 
plur. are frequently incorporated into one word, and writ- 
ten 'taim*, / am, *taid' they are. 

The pres. negat. lofes the initial bh after the particles 'cha' 
not J *mur' if notj 'nach' that not ; n is inierted^ euphoniae caufa, 
betwixt the particle ^cha' a^d the verb ; as 'cha n eil, mur 
'cil, nach 'eil'. This Tenfc is often pronounced 'bcil' after 
the particle *am'; as *am bcil t i is ttf 

In the North Highlands, the pret. ncg. often takes the 
common verbal particle 'do' before it ; as 'cha do robh mi', 
or 'cha d'rohh mi% / was not. 

Initial b of the fut. ncg. is afpirated after the particle 
'cha' not ; as *cha bhi . ^ 




[Part II. 

Initial M of the prct. fuhj. lofcs the afpication after the 
particles *ni' not^ 'mur' tfnat, 'nach' that not, *gu' thaty *nam' 
if: as *mur bithinn, nam bitheadh tu'.* 

The fabjunA. and imper. often fufier a contraction, by 
changing ithea into to ; as 'biom, bios^ biodh' &:c* 

Some of the compound tenfes of 'Bi' are rarely, if ever 
ufed.' They are here given complete, becaufe they corref- 
pond to the analogy of other verbs ; and fhow how accu- 
rately the various modifications of time may be exprefied 
by the fubftantive verb itfelf. 

Example of a verb pf the i ft Conjugation. *Bu$ul' tojirike. 


Simple Tenfes. 
Affirmatw ot Indicaiive Mood. 



X Do bhuail mi IJiruck. 
Bhuail mi 

Buailidh mi, / willjlrike. 

2 Bhuail thu, 

BUailidh tu, 

3 Bhuail e : 

Buailidh (e ; 



I Bhuail finn, 

Buailidh finn, 

2 Bhuail fibh, 

Buailidh fibh, 

3 Bhuail iad.' 

Buailidh fiad. 

Negative or Interrogative Mood. 




^I Do bhuail mi, ^ri/^i 
2 Do bhuail thu, 

noty BuaiLmi, I will noijhikj 
Buail thu, 


3 Do bhuail e; 

Buail e ; 





I Do bhuail finn. 

Buail iinn, 


2 Do bhuail fibh, 

Buail fibh, 

J3 Do bhuail iad. 

Buail iad. 



Part IL] 



SubjunSive Mood. 






I Bhusdlinn^ / would Jlrike. Ma bhttaileas mi, Jf I Jball 

2 Bhuaileadh tu, 

3 Bhuaileadh e; 


1 Bhuaileamaid, 
Bhuaileadh finn, 

2 Bhuaileadh fibh, 

3 Bhuaileadh iad. 

Bhuaileas tu, 
Bhuaileas e; 

Bhuaileas finn, 

Bhuaileas fibh, 
Bhuaileas iad. 

Imperative Mood. 

InJinUive Mood. 

Sing. Boaladh, striking^ 

1 Buaileam, let me strikey ag bualadh, a-striJUngj striking^ 

.2 Buail, iar bualadh, etruck, 

3. Buaileadh e ; do bhualadh, ) 

Plur. abhualadh, f^^'^^^r^ 

1 Buaileamaid, ri bualadh, at striking^ 

2 Buailibh, le bualadh, with striking. 

3 Buaileadh iad. o bhualadh,^of» striking. 


Compound Tenses. 
Affirmative Mood. 


1. Comp. 
Ta mi ag bualadh^ 
I am striking^ &c. 


1. Comp. 
Bha mi ag bualadb, 
/ was striking^ &c. 


1 Comp. 

Bithidh nu zg bualadh, 

I will be striking^ &c. 




[Part II. 


2 Comp, 
Ta mi iar bualadh, 
I hme stnuck^ &c. 


2. Comp. 
Bha mi iar bualadh, 
/ had struck^ &cc. 

nach < 


2 Comp. 

Bithidh mi iar bualadh, 

/ will have struck^ &c. 

Negative Mood, 

Prcfent. Preterite. 

1. Comp. I. Comp, 
^Bheil mi ag bualadh, Robh mi ag bualadh, 

/ am not Jlriking^ &c. / was notjlriking, &c. 

I. Comp' 
Bi mi ag bualadh, 
1 nvill not bejlriking^ &c. 
Prcfent. PreteritCk 

2. Comp, 2. Comp, 
Bheil mi iar bualadh, Robh mi iar bualadh, 
/ have notjiruckf &c. / hdd notjlruck^ &c. 

2. Comp. 
Bi mi iar bualadh, 
/ wll not havefirtick^ icc^ 

SubjunSive Mood, 


!• Comp, 
Bhitbinn ag bualadh, 
/ ivouid beftrihing^ &c. 

2. Comp, 
Bhithinn iar bualadh, 
/ would havejlruck^ &C» 


!• Cwnpi, 
Ma bhitheas mi ag bualadh^ 
Ifljhallbeftrikmg^ &c. 

PL, Comp, 
Ma bhitheas mi iar bualadh, 
Ifljballhavejlruchf &c. 


Part 11.3 



Imperative Mood, 

I. Comp. 

Bitheam ag bualadh, 
JLet me bejirihing^ &c. 

2. Comp. 
Bitheam iar bualadb, 
Let me have ftruck^ Sec, 

Infinitive Mood* 

1. Cornp, 

Do bhith ag bualadh, 
To befirihing^ &c. 

Iar bith ag bualadh, 
Been ftr^kingf &c. 

2. Comp.' 

Do bhith iar bualadh, 
, 2o have been Jlriking, &c. 


Affirmative Mood. 

Simple Tenfcs. 

Preterite. Future. 

Smg. Sing: 

I Do bhuaileadh mi, Inuasjlruch Buailear mi, IJballbeJttuch. 

a Bhuaileadh thu, Buailear thu. 

3 Bhuaileadh e ; 

1 Bhuaileadh, finiii 

2 Bhuaileadh fibh^ 

3 Bhuaileadh lad. 


Buailear e ; 
Buailear finn, 
Buailear Hbh, 
Buailear iad* 

Negative Mood, 



I Do bhuaileadh mi, I was not Buailear mi, IJhallnot 

nach < 

2 Do bhuaileadh thu, 

3 Do bhuaileadh e ; 


1 Do bhuaileadh finn, 

2 D)o bl^ttaileadh iibh, 

3 Do bhuaileadh lad. 

Buailear thu, 

Buailear e ; 


Buailear finn, 

Buailear fibh,. 

Buailear iad. - 




[Part II. 

SubjunSiive Mood. 



Sing. ' Sing. 

1 Bhuailteadh mi, / would be Ma bhuailear mi, If I shall 

2 Bhuailteadh thu, [struci, Bhuailear thu, [be struck^ 

3 Bhuailteadh e ; Bhuailear e ; 

Plur. Plur. 

1 Bhuailteadh simi, Bhuailear sinn, 

2 Bhuailteadh sibh, Bhuailear sibh, 

3 BhuStilteadh iad. Bhuailear iad. 

Imperative Mood, 


1 Buailtearmi, Let me be strucJk, Buailte, struck. 
^ Buailtear thu, 
3 Buailtear e ; 


1 Buailtear sinn,. 

2 Buailtear sibh, 

3 Buailtear iad. 

Compound Tenses. 
Affirmative Mood. 



1. Comp. . 1. Comp. [gcc. 

Ta mi buailte, / am struck^ &c . Bha mi buailte, I was struck ^ 


1« Comp. 

Bithidh mi buailte, / shtM be struck^ &c. 


Part II.] OP SPEECH. 8 1 

Present. Preterite. 

2. Comp. 2. Comp. 

Sing. Singm 

1 Ta mi iar mo bhualadh, Bha mi iar mo bhualadh, 

/ hmje been struck^ I bad been struck^ 

2 Ta (hu iar do bhualadh, Bha tbu iar do bhu&ladh, 

3 Ta se iar a bhualadh ; * Bha se iar a bhualadh ; 

Pbtr. Pbtr. 

1 Ta sinn iar ar bualadh, Bha sinn iar ar bualadh, 

2 Ta sibh iar 'or bualadh, Bha sibh iar 'ur bualadh, 

3 Ta siad iar am bualadh. Bha siad iar am bualadh. 

V f 


2. Comp* 


1 Bithidh mi iar mo bhualadh, 1 slall have been struck. 

2 Bithidh tu iar do bhualadh, 

3 Bithidh se iar a bhualadh ; 


1 Bithidh sinn iar ar bualadh, 

2 Bithidh sibh iar 'ur bualadh. 

3 Bithidh siad iar am bualadh. . 

Negative Mood. 
Present. Preterite. 

1. Comp. 1. Comp. 

Ni bheil mi buailte^ Ni robh mi buailte, 

/ am not struck^ &c. / was not struciy&LC. 


1. Comp. 

Ni bi mi buailte, / sAall not be strucky &cc. 
Present. * . Preterite. 

2. Comp. 2. Comp. 

Ni bheil mi iar mo bhualadh, Ni robh mi iar mo bhualadh, 
/ have not been struck^ &c. / had not been itruci^ &c . 


2. Comp. 

Ki bi mi iar mo bhualadh, / shall not have been struck^ ^c. 

L Subjunctive 



[Part IL 

Subjunctive Mood. 

1. Com^ 
Bhitbmn baailt«» 
1^ / would be strueii &c. 

2* Comp* 

1. ComfL, 
Ma Uutheas mi bnailte. 
If I shall be struck^ &e. 

2. Camp. 

Bhithinn )ar ma bhualadh^ Ma bhitbcaa mi itr mo hhualailh. 
I would have beeosiruck^ See. Ifl'sballhceue bten struck^ &c» 

Imperative. Mood* 

1. Comp^ 
Bithe'am buailte^ 
Let me be struck^ &c. 

2. Comp. 
Bitheam iar mo bhualadh, 

Jqfimtive Mo^d. 
I. Cotnp. 
Do bhith buailte, 
To be struck^ &c. 

2. Comp. 
Do bkith iar mo bhuala^GUv 

Let me furue been struck^ &c. 7]p ^ijn^ 4^^ struct^ Stc* 
Examples of Verbs of the Second Conjugation. 

Orduicbf to afpeint. 

Simple Tenses. 

Preterite. Future. 

Dh'erduich, Orduiqhidh. 

D'ocduich, Orduicb. 

Dh'orduichioQ. . Dh'orduicheas. 

Orduicheam, Injnit. ' Orduchadh. 



j^ffirmat. Dh'orduicheadh, Orduichear. 

Negat. D'orduicheadh, ' Orduichear. 

Subjunct. Dh^orduichteadh. Dh*orduichear. 

Imperat. Orduichthear. Particip* Orduichte. 


Part IL] OF sp££Cfi. 83 

" ^ Folateh, to hide. 


Preterite. Future. 

Affirmat. Dh'fholaich, Folaichidh. 

Ntgat. D'fholaich^ ^ Folaich. 

SuhjuncU Dh'fholaichinn. Dh'fholaicheas. 

Imperat. Folaichealn. Infinite Folachadh. 




Folaichear. « 







Imperai. Folaichtear. Pariicip. Folaichte. 

Th6 Compoutid Tensfes may be easily learned from those 
of the Vei-b "Buail* in the first Conjugation, being formed 
exactly in the same manner. 

• » 

Of the Initial Form. 

An Initial Coosonndt is aspirated in the Preterite Tense, 
through all the Moods atid Voices ; except in the Preterite 
Subjunctive after the Particles ^ni, mur, nach, gu, an, am*. 
An Initial Consonant is occasionally aspirated in the Future 
Tense, and in the Infinitire and Participle, indicating their 
connection with the preceding word. 

In the first Coajugatioii, ^do' is prefixed to the Pret. A£F. 
and Neg. Active and Passive. However, it often is, and al- 
ways may be, omitted before the Pret. Aff. It is sometimes 
omitted in the Pret. Neg. in verse, and in common conver- 
sation.-^In the second Conjugation, the same Particle Mo' 
is prefixed to the Preterite through all the Moods add Voices, 
and to the Fut. Subj. excepting only the Subjunctive Tenses 



after 'ni, mur, nach^ gu^ an, am'. In this Conjugation, 
'do\ always lofes the o to avoid a hiatus ; and the d is afpi* 
rated in the Affirm, and Subjun£l. Moods (z). 

Of the Termination, 


In all regular Verbs, the Terminations adjeCted to the 
Root are, ftridly fpeaking, the fame in Verbs c^araAerifed 
by a broad . vowel, and in Verbs charaderifed by a fmall 
vowel. But where the firft vowel of the Termination does 
not.correfpond in quality to the laft vowel of the Root, it 
has become the conftant praAi(;e to infert in the Termina- 
tion a voMirel of the requifite quality, in order to produce 
this correfpondence. Thus a variety has been int^roduced 
into the Terminations even of regular Verbs, prejudicial to 
the uniformity of inflection, and of no ufe to afcertain either 
the fenfe or the pronunciation (a). In the foregoing ex- 
amples of regular Verbs, the common mode of Orthography 
has been followed ; but in the following rules, the fin^ple 
Terminations only are fpecified. 


C»^ In the older Irish MSS. the Particle *do' appears un- 
der a variety of forms. In one MS. of high antiquity it is often 
written *dno.* This seems to be its oldest form. The- two con- 
sonants were sometimes separated by a yowel, and the n being 
pronounced and then written r, (see Part I. p. 1 9.) the word 
was written *doro'. (See Astle^s Hist, qftbe Orig. and Progr. of 
Writings pag. 126, Irish Specimen^ No. 6.) The Consonants were 
sometimes transposed, suppressing the latter Voyirel, and the 
Particle became *nod' (0 Brien^s Ir. Diet, voc, Sasat, Treas,) 
and 'rod' (id, voe, Ascaim. Fial.) Sometimes one of the sylla- 
bles only was retained^ hence *no% (O^Br, voc. No,) *ro*,^ft/, 
voc, Ro,) and *do' in common use. *Do* likewise suffered a 
transposition of letters, and was written sometimes *ad'. (O'Bri 
voc. Do.) 

(a) This correspondence of the Termination with the Root 
was often overlooked in the older editions of the Gaelic Psalms j 
a^ * pronnfidh, cuirfar, molfidh, innsam, guidham, coimhdar, 
* sinnam, gluaisfar,' &c. 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 85 

ACTIVE VOICE. — Simple Tcnfcs. 

Tlie Theme or Root of the Verb is always found in the 
fecond Per. ling, of the Imperative. 

The Preterite Afiirm. and Negat. is like the Root, and 
has no diftinfUon of Number or Perfon. In moft of the 
editions of the Gaelic Pfalms, fome inflexions of the Pre^ 
terite have been admitted, with good eflfeA, from the Irifh 
Verb } fuch as, ^bhuaileas' IJfruck^ *bhuailis' thou dtdftjirihe^ 
'bhuaileamar' wejlruck, ^bhyaileadar' theyJlruck.^Tht Pret. 
Subj. is formed by adding to the Root inn for the firft perf. 
fing. and adh for the other perfons. The firft perf. plur. 
alfo terminates in amaid. 

The Future Affirm, adds tdh to the Root ; in the Negat. 
it is like the Root ; and in the SubjunA. it adds as* A 
poetic Future Tenfe terminating pi ann or Bnn^ is frequent 
in the Gaelic Pfalms ; as *gairionii' luill call^ *feasfann' nvill 
fiandy *do bheirionn, nmll give^ &c. The Future has no 
diftin£tion of Number or Perfon. The Termination of the 
Future Affirni. and N^gat. in many Verbs, was formerly 
jiib^ like the Irifli ; of which many examples occur in the 
earlier editions of the Gaelic Pfalms. In later Gaelic pub- 
lications, the /has been uniformly fet afide (h). The Ter- 
mination of the firft perf. fing. and third perf. plur. is often 
mcorporated with the correfpondlng Pronoun ; as *feinnam 
cliu' / wiU Jing praife^ Pfat. Ixi. 8*^ *Ni fuigham has, ach. 
mairfam beo', IJball not die, butjhall remain alive^ Pf. qxviii. 


(b) The disposition in the Gaelic to drop articulations has, 
in this instance, been lather unfortunate ) as the want of the f 
weakens the sound of the word, and often occasions a hiatus^ 
There seems a propriety in retaining the/of the Future, after a 
Liquid, or an aspirated Mute ^ as ' caithfidh, mairfidh, culrfidh, 
'molfidh, geillfidh, pronnfidh, brisfidh," &c. for these words 
Ipse much in sound and emphasis, by being changed into * caithidh, 
* jnairidb,' &c. 

86 OF THE PARTS [Part ir. 

17. *Ithfid, geillfid, innfid' thef tvill rat, they wilijubmit, 
they will telly Pf. xxii. 26, 29, 31. (c) 

in the Imperative Mood, the fecohd perf. fing. is the 
Root of the Verb. Tlie other Perfons are diftinguifhed 
by thcfe Terminations ; ift perf. fing. am^ 3d perf. fing. 
adh^ ft perf. plur, amaidy 2d perf. plur. %hh^ 3d perf. plur. 

The Terminations peculiar to the 1 ft perf. fing. and plur. 
of the Fret. Subj, and of the Imperat^ fupply the place of 
the Perfonal Pronouns 5 as does alfo the Termination of the 
ad perf. plur. of the Imperative. 

The Infinitive is varioufly formed. 
^ General Rule. The Infinitive is formed by adding adh 
to the Root 5 as *aom' Imvy incline, Infin.^aomadh'; 'ith' eat, 
Infin. 'itheadh'. 

I. Some 

(c) The incorporation of the Verb ^^ith a personal Pronoun 
is 9 manifest improvement^ and has gradually taken place in aU 
most all polished langiia&^es. There is incomparably mpre 
beauty and force in expressing the energy of the Verb, ttith hs 
personal relation and concomitant dreumstancel, in one Tford, 
than by a periphrasis .of pronouns and auxiliajries. The latter 
mode may have a slight advantage in point of precision, but the 
former is greatly superior in elegance and strength. The 
structiwe of the Latin and the Greek', Compared with that of 
the English Verb, affords a striking illustration of .this common 
and obvious remark. Nothing can be vrorse managed than the 
French Verb j »which, though it possesses a competent variety 
of personal inflections, yet loses all the benefit of them by the 
perpetual enfeebling recurrence of the personal Pronouns. 

In comparing the Scottish and Irish Dialects of the Gaelic, 
it may be inferred that the former, having less of inflection or 
incorporQtion than the latter, differs less from the Parent Tongue, 
and IS an older branch of the Celtic, than its Sister IMalect. It 
were unfair, however, to deny that the Irish have improved the 
Verb, by giving a greater variety of inflection to its Numbers 
and Persons^ as well as by introducing a simple Present Tense. 
The authors of our metrical version of the Gaelic Psalms were 
sensible of the advantage possessed by the Irish Dialect in these* 
respects ^ and did not scruple to borrow an idiom, which has 
given grace and dignity to many of their verses. 

Part IL] OF SPEECH* 87 

1. Some Verbs fuffer a fyncope in the penult fyllable, 
and are coiQmonly ufed in their contracted form ; as 


Caomhainy^^fv^ Caomhnadh. 

' Coifitiy «//>!> Coafneadh, Cofnadh. 

Diobaitt difrivt, Diobradh, 

Pogair) rtvmfe^ Fogradbu 

Yo^zivij fufficef ^ Foglmadh. 

Fofgail, open, «Fofgladh. 

Inni$9 tell^ ImddGradh. « 

MidiXf/acr^ccy .. lobradh. 

Mci%ail, aw^, Mofgladb. 

. Se»cbain«\<iMft4 4 Seachoadh. 

TionfgaiQ^ A<^'/7^ . Tioxifgnadh. 

Togair, rfjfir^^ Togradb. 

Gbferve, that Yerbs which thus fufier a fyncope in form- 
ing the Infinitive, fufier a like fyncope in the Preterite Sub- 
junftive, and in the Imperative Mood ; as *innis' teH, In- 
fin. Snnfeftdb', Pret. Subj. ^innfinn, innfeadh, innfcamaid', 
Imperat. 4nnfeani, innfeamaid, innfibh'. 

2. A confiderable number of Verbs have their Infinitive 
like the Root \ as 

Caoidh, iamefU. Ol, drink. 

Dearmad, negk^, Ruith, run. 

Fas, grow* Snamh,y^i;/«i, 

Gairm, caU^ Sniomh, twine. 
Meas, eflimafe^ 

3. Polyfyllables in ch, whofe charafteriftic Vowel is fmall, 
either throw it away, or convert it into a broad Vowel, and 
add etdh ; as 

Ceannaicb/ huy, Ceannachadh. 

Smuainich, ihtnhy Smuaineachadb. 

Moft MonofyUables in fgp and a few others, follow the 
fame Rule ( as^ 




[Part IL 

Coifg, cheeky Cofgadh. 
Failg, wrings Fafgadh. 
Loifg, burn, Lofgadh. 
Luaifg^ rock. Luafgadh 

Naifgy htni, Nafgadh. 
Paifg, njorap^ Pafgadh. 
BlaiS) iastBf * Blafadh. 
Buail, strike* Bualadh. 

4. Many Verbs, whofe charaftcriftic Vowel is fmall, ei- 
ther throw it away^ or convert it into a broad Vowel, with- 
out adding adh ; as, 



Amhairc, hak^ 


lomain, drive^ 


Amais, reach^ 


Leighis, cun. 


CaiU, lofe^ 


Sguir, ceafe. 


Ceangail, hind^ 

^ Ceangal* 



Cuir, pta^ 


Tachrais, nvind^ 


Coimhid, keep. 


Tiondaidh, tum^ 



^ Fulang. 

T!oirvD\{gf forbid, 


Fuirich^ stmy^ 


Tionail, gather j 


Guil, nveep, 


.Tionfgail, contrive.^ 

, Tionfgal. 

5. The foUowing'Verbs 

in air add t to the Root \ 


Agair, clainiy 


Bagair, threaten^ 


Cafgair, Jlaughterf 



, anfwer^ 











Saltair, trample^ 








6. Thefe Monofyllables ^iAjtnn to the Root. 

Beir, bear^ Beiriinn. 

Creid, believe^ Creidfinn. 

Faic,y?^, Faicfinn, 

Goir, crow, Goirfinn. 

Mair, continue, Mairfinn. 

Saoil, think, Saoilfinn. 


Part II.] 



Trcig,ySfy6i^, Treigfino. 

Tuig) understantl^ Tuigfinni or Tuigeil. 

Ruig^ reach,. Ruigfinn, or Riiigheaichd* 

Thefe MonqfyUablps add tuinn or tinn to the Root* 

Bean, touchy 
Buinj take away^ 

Cinn, growy 
Cluiiin, hear^ 
Fan, stay, 
Gin, produce^ 
Ijtsxi^ follow. 
Meal, enjoy. 
Pill, return^ 
Seall, hoh. 







Giontuinn, or Ginmhuin. 

Leantutnn, or Leanmhoin; 




S. The following MonofyUables add ml to the Root. : 
Cum, hJd, Cumail. I^cag^ cast dovm^ LeagaiL 

GM^take^ Gafahail. Tog, rmfr^ TogaiL 

Fag, leave, Fagaih IHiig, und&rsUmi, Twseil. 

<^ Thefe Monofyllaldes add qtvh to jdjtie Root. 
Qaitbj^V^ Caithe^mbf 

Dean, 4o, make^^ Deanamh. 

Feithj vmt^ Feitheamh, 

Seas, stani^ Seafamb* 

10. The followbg Verbs form die Infinitiye irregularly; 

Beuc, roar, 
Buir, bellow, 
Geum, hw, 
Glaodh, cry, 
Caifd, listen, 
Eifd, hearken, 
Marcaich, riie^ 
Thig, come^ 
Eirich, rife, 
larr, ruj^st^ 








Teachd, tighinn. 

Faghail^^ feotainpi 




90 OF THE PARTS [Part II. 


Taisg, lay up^ Tasgaidh. 

Coidil, sleeps Codal. 

Fuaighy sew^ Fuagbal. 

Gluais, mwe^ Gluasad, gluasachd. 

Txiit, fall. Tuiteam. • 

Teirig, wear out^ Teireachduini^. ' 

Teasairg, deliver^ Tcasairgin. 

Compound Tenses. 

The confound Tenses of the first order are made up of the 
several simple Tenses of the auxiUaiy verb 'Bi* be^ and 
the Infinitive preceded by the Preposition *ag' at. Between 
two Consonants, ^ag' commonly loses the g^ and is written 
d';-as 4a iad a' deanamh' they are doing. Between two 
Vowels, the a is dropped, and the g is retained ; as ^ta mi 
'g iarruidji' / am asking. When preceded by a CQasonan% 
and followed by a Vowel, the Preposition is written entire; 
as *ta iad ag iarruidh' they are asking. When preceded by 
a Vowel, and followed by a Consonant, it is often suppress- 
ed altogether ; as 'ta mi deanamh' / am doing (d). 

The compound Tenses of the second order are made up of 
the simple Tenses of ^Bi' and the Infinitive preceded by the 
Preposition *iar' ajier (e). 

(d) Such at least is the common practice in writing, in com- 
pliance with the common mode of colloquial pronunciation. It 
might perhaps be better to retain the fiill form of the Preposi- 
tion, in grave pronunciation, and always in writing. It is an 
object worthy of attention to preserve radical articulations, 
especially in writing ^ -and particularly to avoid every unneces- 
sary use of the monosyllable ^a\ which, it must be confessed, 
recurs in too many senses. 

(e) The Preposition *iar' has here been improperly confound- 
ed with ^air^ en. I have ventured to restore it, from the Irish 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 91 

PASSIVE VOICE. — Simple Tenses. 

The Preterite Affirm, and Negat. is formed from the same 
Tense in the Active, by adding adh* The Prcter. Subj. 
adds tecidh* 

The Future is formed from the Fut. Act. by changing 
the Terminations in the Affirm, and Subj. into ar^ (more 
properly far^ as of old \) and adding the same syllable in 
the Negative. . . 

The Imperative is formed from the Imperat. Act. by/ 
adding to the second pers. sing, tar^ thoTy or ar. (/) 

The Participle is formed by adding te to the Root (g). 

Grammarians. 'lar^ is in common use in the Irish dialect, ngni- 
fying after. Thus *iar sin* after tbat^ ^iar leaghadh an tshoisgeiP 
after reading the Gctspei^ *iar sleachdadh do niomlan' after all 
have kneeled down^ 4ar seasamh suas* after standing up^ &c. See 
Irish Book of Common Prater, *Air* when applied to tinei sig- 
nifies not after, but at or on : ^air an am so, air an uair so' at this 
time^ ^air an la sin' on that day. There is therefore sufficient 
reason to believe that, in the case in question, 4ar' is the proper 
word ; and that it has been corruptly supplanted by 'air\ 

(f) The Imperative seems to have been antiently formed by 
adding tar to the Root. This form is still retained in Ireland, 
and in some parts of Scotland > chiefly in verbs ending in a 
Lingual \ as *buailtear, deantar'^ (See the Lord^s Prayer in the 
older editions of the Gaelic Version of the Assembly'* s Catechism; 
also the Irish N. Test. Matt, vi. 10. Luk, xi. 2.) In other verbs, 
the / seems to have been dropped in pronunoiation. It was 
however retained by the Irish in writing, but with an aspiration 
to indicate its being quiescent ; thus *togthar, teilgthear'. Ir* 
N. T. Matt. xxi. 21. Mark, xi. 23. *crochthar'. Matt, xxvii. 22. 
So also the Gaelic N. T. 1167. <deanthar'. Matt. vi. 10. Luk. 
xi. 2. In later publications, the / has been omitted altogether ^ 
with what propriety, may well be doubted. 

(g) To preserve a due correspondence with the pronunciation, 
the Pass. Partic. should always terminate in te; for in thi^ part 
of the verb, the / has always its small sound. Yet in verbs 
whereof the characteristic vowel is broad, it is usual to write the 



There is no distinction of Number or Person in the 
Tenses of the Passive Voice. 

Verbs which suffer a syncope in the Infinitive, suffer a 
like syncope in the Pret. Aff. and Neg. tfanmghout the 
Fixtdre Tense, tmd in the Inperative. 

Compound Tense. 

The compound Tenses oftbefirH order 2xt made up of the 
simple Tenses of the auxiliary ^Bi' and the Passive Par- 

The co$np6und Teitses of the "second order are made up of 
the simpte Tenses oif ^Bi' and the Infinitive preceded by the 
Preposition 'iar' and the Possessive Pronoun corresponding 
in Person to the Pronoun, or to the Noun, which is the 
Nominative to the verb. 

tennin^\i6n of the Pass. Part, ta^ ais •togta' raised^ 'crochta* 
suspended. This is done in direct opposition to the pronuncia- 
tion, merely out of regard to the Irish Rule of Leathan rt ieatheHi^ 
tvhich in this ckse, as in fnany others, has been permitted to xnarr 
the genuine orthography. \ 

When a verb, whose diaracteristic vowel is bread, terminaftes 
in a Liqoid, the final consonant coalesces so closely Ivith the ^o£ 
the Pass. Fart, that the snia/i sound of the latter necessarily oc- 
casions the Itke sound in pronouncing the fbrmer. Accordingly 
the stnall sound of the Liquid is prbperly represented in writing, 
by an / inserted before it. Thus *6P drink^ tass. Psfit, *6ihtt*; 
*prbnn' poundy 'proinnte'^ ^crann* i»tfr, *crainnte'j *»ptrr' ram^ 
Spairrte'*, *trus' pitchy *truiste'. But when the verb «nds in a 
mute, whether plain or aspirated, there is no such coalescence' 
between its final consonant and the adjected / of the Participle. 
The final consonant, if it 'be pronounced, retains its broad soiiiid. 
There is no^ good reason for maintaining « correspondence of 
vowels in the Participle, which ^ught therefore to be written, as 
h is pronounced, without regard to Leathan rt Uaibaa ; as Hoj^ 
raise^ Pass. Part. *togte'; *crodi' bangj ^crochte'j *s^th' Aruit^ 
^Jtthte'j *cnamh' cbew^ ^cnamhte^ 

The sadie observations apply, with equal £orce, to the Pret. 


Part IL] OF SPEECH, 95 

Use and Import of the Moods and Tenses. 

The Affirmatvue or Indicative Mood expresses afErmation, 
and is used in affirmative propositions only ; as Mo bhaail 
xni* / struck^ *bha mi ag buahtdh' / was striking. 

The Negative or Interrogative Mood is used ih negative 
propositions and interrogative clauses, after the Particles ^i' 
no/, 'cha* not J *nach* wbicb not, that not^ not f *mur' i/ not ; 
abo *gu gur' that^ an, am*, whether used relatively or inter- 
rogatively ; as 'cha d'f holaich mi' / did not bide^ 'mur bu.ail 
sinn* if we shall not strike^ *nach robh iad' that they were not^ 
^gat^Vhitid^ that they were ; 'ambuailmi?' shall I striHet"^ 
It is used in the Future Tense after *ged' although ; as *ged 
* bhuail e mi* though he strike me (h). 

The Subjunctive Mood is used in the Preterite, either 
with or without conjunctions ; as •bhuailinn* / would strike^ 
^am, mur, nach. Sec. buaiiinn' g^ unless^ Mc. I should strike. 
In the Future it is used only after the conjimctions 'ma' i/^ 

Sabj. in which the / of the terminatidn is always pronounced 
with its small sound, and should therefore be followed by a small 
Vowel in writing ) as ^thogteadh, chrochteadh% not Hhogtadh, 
* chrochtadh*. 

(h) In all r^^ir/jr verbs, the difference between the Affirma- 
tive and the Negative Moods, though marked but slightly and 
partially in the rreterite Tense, (only in the initial form of the 
12d Conjugation,) yet is strongly marked in the Future Tense. 
The Fut. AS. tenninates in a feeble vocal sound. In the Fut. 
Neg. the voice rests on an articulation, or is cut short by a for. 
cible aspiration. Supposing these Tenses to be used by a speaker 
in reply to a command or a request ; by tbeir very structure, the 
former expresses the softness of compliance) and the latter, the 
abruptness of a refusal. If a command or a request be express- 
ed by such verbs as these, 'tog sin, gabh sin, ith sin'^ the com- 
pliant answer is expressed by Hogaidh, gabhaidh, ithidh'^ the 
refusal, by *cha tog, <:ha ghabh, cha n-i^.' May not this pe- 
culiar variety of form in the same Tense, when denoting af- 
firmation, and when denoting negation, be reckoned among the 
characteristic marks of an original language ? 

-54 OP THE PARTS [Part IL 

*o' o*n' sinee^ and the Relative *a* expressed or understood ; 
as *ma bhuaileas mi' if I shall strike ^ *ani fear a bhuaileas 
,* mi* the man who will strike me^ or the man whom I shall 
strike ; 'an uair a bhuaileas mi\ ^tra bhuaileas mi' the time 
\in\ which I shall strike^ i. e. when I shall strike ; *c'uiii 
fcia uine] a bhuaileas mi ?' what [w] the time \in\ which I 
shall strike f i. e. when shall I strike f 

The Imperative Mood expresses desire, whether purpose, 
command, or request ; as *buaileam' let me strike^^b uailibh ' 
strike ye* . . 

The Infinitive (i) is, in all respects, a noun, denoting the 
action or energy of the verb, and commonly preceded by 
a Preposition which marks the time of the action ; as 'ag 

* bualadh' at striking, *am bualadh' t/ie striking, the threshing* 
It assumes a regular genitive case, 'bualadh' g. s. ^bualaidh'; 
as hirlar bualaidh' a threshing fioor. — The Infinitive some- 
times loses the termination, and is regularly declined in its 
abridged form; thus ^cruinnich' assemble, inf. 'cruinneach- 
' adh' per. apocop. 'cruinneach* g. s. 'cruinnich'; hisnce 
'aite-cruinnich* a place of meeting. Acts, xix. 29, 31. ao 
'fear-criochnaich' Heb. xii. 2. 'fear-cuidich' Psal. xxx. icg^ 
liv. 4. 'ionad-foluich' Psal. xxxii. 7. cxix, 114. 'litir-dheal- 

* aich* Matth. v. 31. C^^^ 

There is no part of the Active Voice that can, strictly 
speaking, be denominated a Participle. The Infinitive 

(i) This part of the verb, being declined and governed like 
a noun, bears a closer resemblance to the Latin Gerund than to 
the Infinitive j and might have been properly named the Gerund. 
But as Lhuyd and all the later Irish Grammarians have already 
given it the name of Infinitive, I chose to continue the same ap- 
pellation, rather than change it. 

(k) The Editor of the Gaelic Psalms printed at Glasgow, 
1753, judging, as it would seem, that *cuidich' was too bold a 
licence for 'cuideachaidh^, restored the gen. of the full form of 
the Infinitive ; but in order to reduce it to two syllables, so as 
to suit the verse, he threw out the middle syllable, and wrote 

Part IL] OF SPEECH. 95 

preceded by the Preposition %g' a/, corresponds in mean- 
ing to the present Participle 5 and preceded by *iar* qfter^ it 
corresponds to the participle of the past time ; as ^g bual- 
* adh*. at striking^ or striking ; *iar bualadh' after striking^ or 
struck (0* 

. * (/) ' I h^ve met with pjersons of superior knowledge of the 
Gaelic who contended, that such ^expressions as Ha mideanamh* 
/ 4m i^oifig^ *ta e bualadh^ b^ is striking (see page S9.\ are com- 
plete without any Preposition understood \ and that in such si- 
tuations Meanamh, bualadh^ are not infinitives or nounS| but real 
participles of the Present Tense. With much deference to such 
authorities* I shall here ^ve the reasons which appear to me to 
support the contrary o^nion. 

1. The form of the supposed Participle i^ invariably the same 
with that of the Infinitive. 

52. If the words 'deanamh, bualadhVin the phrases adduced, 
were real Participles) then in all similar instances, it would be 
not only unnecessary, but ungrammatical, to introduce the pre- 
position 'ag' at a)l. But this is far ffom being the case. In all 
verbs beginning with a vowel, the preposition 'ag^ or its une- 
quivocal representative ^g* is indispensible j as Ha iad ag iarruidh, 
1^ mi 'g iarruidh^' Shall we say then that verbs beginning 
with a consonant have a present participle, while those which 
begin with a vowel have none ?— But even this distinction fdls 
to the grovuid, when it is considered that in many phrases which 
involve a verb beginning with a consonant, the preposition *ag* 
stands forth to view, and can on no account be suppressed ^ as 
* ta iad 'g a bhualadh* they are striking him^ Ha e *g ar bualadh* 
he is striking us, — From these particulars it may be inferred, that 
' the preposition ^ag' must always precede the infinitive, in-order 
tO' complete the phrase which corresponds to the English or the 
Latin p^es. participle \ and that in those cases where the prepo- 
ntion has been dropped, the omission has been owing to the ra- 
pidity or carelessness of colloquial pronunciation. 

3. A still stronger argument, in support of the same conclu- 
aon, may be derived from the regimen of the phrase in question. 
The infinitive of a transitive verb, preceded by any preposition, 
always governs the noun, which is the object of the verbal 
action, in the genitive. This is an invariable rule of Gaelic 
Syntax \ thus, ^ta sinn dol a dh' iarruidh na spr^idhe* we are 
ping to seek the cattle; ^ta iad ag>iomain na spr6idhe, they are 


g6 ei' THE PAETs [Part II. 

Many words^ expressing state or action, take the Frepo* 
sition ^g before them, and maj be considered as Infinitives 
of Verbs, whereof the other parts are not in use ; as ^g 
^ atharrais' ffdmicking^ ^ag gaireachdaich* laugbingf ^a' fanoid, 
* a' magadh* mocking^ jeering. 

driving the cattle; 'ta iad far cuairteacTiadh na spr^idhe\ they 
have gathered the cattle. This regimen can be accounted for on 
no other principle, in Caclic, than that the governing word is a 
noun, as the infinitive is confessed to be. Now it happens that 
the supposed participle has the very same regimen, anid governs 
the genitive as uniformly as the same word would iiave done, 
when the presence of a preposition demonstrated it to be a noun \ 
so ^a mi bualadh an doruis', / am knocking the door; *ta thn 
^ deanamh an uilc', you are doing muchief. -^TYiz inference is, 
that even in these utoations, the words 'bualadh, deanamh^ 
though accompanied with no preposition, are still genuine nouns ; 
and are nothing else tban the infinitives of their respective verbs, 
with the preposition 'ag' understood befc»re each c^ them. 

4. The practice in other dialects of the Celtic, and the au- 
thority of respectable grammarians, afford collateral support to 
the opinion here defemled. Gen. Vallencey, the most copious 
writer on Irish grammar, though he gives the name of participle 
to a certain part of the Gaelic verb, because it corresponds, in 
signification, to a part of the Latin verb which has obtained that 
<name^ yet constantly exhibits this participle, not as a single 
word, but a composite expresnon; msule up of a preposition and 
that part of the verb wluch is here called the infimtive. The 
phrase is fully and justly exhibited, but it is wrong named ; un« 
less it be allowed to ^extend the name of Participle to such 
phrases as ititer anUfuUndum^ w Tf it^mivitmv.— Lhuyd, in hia 
Coraish. Grammar, informs us, with his usual accuracy, that 

* the Infinitive Mood, as in the other dialects of the British, ' 
' sometimes serves as a Substantive, as in the Latin ; and by the 

* help of the particle a [the Gaelic *ag'] before it, it supplies 

* the room of the participle of the present tense,* &c. Archaeol. 
Brit, page 245, col. 3. This observation is strictly applicable 
to the Gaelic verb. The infinitive, with the participle ^ag* be-, 
fore it, supplies the room of the present Parttc^e.^^lihe same 
judicious writer repeats this observation in his Introduction to the 
Irish or ancient Scottish Language : ^ The Participle of the Pre- 
^ sent Tense is supphj^d by the Particle ag be^e the Infinitive 
' Mood \ as ag radh^ saying, ag cainmt^ talking, ag teag^sg^ 

* teaching, ag dul^ going,' &c. Arch. Brit* pag. SQ3. coL 2. 

Part II.] pjr SPEECH. 97 

The Particj^fe passive I^ ai| ^fdje^tive, denoting the com- 
pletion of th^ action or energy e:|(p]:^ssed bj ^he verb % ^ 

^arbhar buailte* threshed corn* 

• * » ^ - - ' 

The Simpk lenses wl^(:h belmg to all verbs ^^ the Pre« 
terita or Future ; besides which th^ verb *Bi' to he^ and the 
defective ve;<i ^Is* I qm^ hftve a Present Tens.eC«r^. 

Th^ Present expresses present e^ristence, state^ or energy. 

The Preterite ^ffirfuatv^e and Negative e^presse^ past time 
indefinitely. Tlie Preterite S^'uficiive cftrrffsponds to the 
£iiglish T^ns^s forip^d by the auidliaries wouUj couldf &cc. 
In general it. denotes thajt the ^tiQU pr energy of the verb 
.ta^^B place ev^tually or cqndiMpnally. The Pret. Aff. or 
Neg. is used $om^time$ in this sense, like the £nglisb, 
ivhfsn the Pret. Subj. occurFed in the preceding clause of a 
sentence ; as hiarn bio4h ti^s' an so, cha d' f huair mo 
* bbratfaair bis' if thou hqdst beeii here^ my brother kad nut 
IjiowU not have'] died ^ ^naur bitb^amaid air d^ananUi moille 
bha sinn a ajs air piUtin^i ^ir ar n^ais' if we had not lingered^ 
tve bad [should have"] now returned^ Gen. xliii. ip. 

(m^ It may appear a strange defect in the GaeIiC| that its 
Verbs, excepting the substantive verbs *Bi, Is% have no simple 
Present Tense. Yet this is manifestly the case in the Scottish, 
Welch, and Cornish dialects (see Arch. Brit, page 246, col, 1. 
.and page 247, col. 1.) •, to which may be added the Manks. 
•Crcidim' / believe^ *guidheam' I fir ay ^ with perhaps one or two 
more Present Tenses, now used in Scotland, seem to have been 
imported from Ireland \ ior their paucity evinces that they be- 
long not to o^r dialect.— The want of the simple Present Tense 
is a striking p(^nt of resemblance between the Gaelic and the 
Hebrew verb. 

I am indebted to a learned and ingenious correspondent for 
the following important remark ^ that the want of the simple 
Present Tense in all the British Dialects of the Celtic, in com- 
mon with the Hcbretv, while the Irish has assumed that Tense, 
furnishes a strong presumption that the Irish is a Dialect of later 
growth 'y that th^ British Gaelic is its p9rent tongue ; and con- 
sequently that Britain is the mother country of Ireland. 



The Future marks future time indefinitelj. iTiis Tense 
is used in a peculiar sense in Gaelic, to signify that an action 
or event takes place uniformly, habituallj, according to or- 
dinary practice, or the course of nature. Thus ; ' * Blessed 
^ is he that consideretb the poor,' expressed according to the 
Gaelic idiom, would be, ^ blessed is he that will consider^* &c. 

* A wise son maketb a glad father,' in Gaelic would run, ' a 
^ wise son willmakey &c. ' Your patient, I am told, is in 

* a bad way ; he neither enjoys rest, nor takes medicine. Nay, 
« his situation is worse than you know of; yesterday, he be- 

* came delirious, and is now almost unmanageable , he 
^ tosses his arms, and endeavours to beat every one within his 
.* reach.' In Gaelic, ^ will enjoy^-^wiU take^^^wtU toss'-^^will 

* endeavour^^J* In like manner, a great many Gaelic Pro- 
verbs express a general truth by means of the Future ten^e; 
e. g. ^bithidh ddil ri fear feachd, ach cha bhi duil ri fear lic% 

* there is hope that a man may return from war, but there 
< is no hope that a man may return from the grave ;' literal- 
ly, ' there wUl be hope — there will be no hope — .' 'teirgidh 

* gach ni r' a chaitheamh', *every thing wears out in the 
'i using ;' literally, * — will wear out—.' (n) 

The Compound Tenses mark different modifications^ of time, 
which will be easily understood by analysing their compo- 
nent parts. 


(n) From observing the same thing happen repeatedly or 
habitually, it is naturally inferred that it will happen again. 
When an event is predicted, it is supposed that the speaker, if 
no other cause of his foreknowledge appears, infers the future 
happening of the event from its having already happened in 
many instances. Thus the Future Tense, which simply fore- 
tells, conveys to the hearer an intimation Uiat the thing foretold 
has already taken place frequently or habitually .-^^ In Hebrew, 
the Future Tense is used with precisely the same eflfect. * In 

* the law of Jehovah he tv{7/ meditate j' i. e. ^ he does meditate 

* habitually.' Psal. i. 2. See also Psal. xlii. 1. Job, ix. 11. 
xxiii. 8, 9. &c. passim. 


In the Active V<nce^ the cocppound tenses of tl^e first order 
denote tbdt the action is going: jpn, but n<}t completed at the 
time specified bj theauziliarj yerb^Oir its adjuncts ; as ^ta 
^ mi ag bualadh% I am at striking^ i. e. 'lam striking ; *bba. 
^ mi ag bualadh an de,' / wat striking yesterday. 

Those of the second order denote that the action is new- 
\j completed and past, at the time marked hj the auxiliary 
verb : ♦ta mi iar bualadh'; I atk after striking^ i. e. / have 
struck, ye vieHs de frdpper ; *Bha mi iar bualadh, / wtxs 
after striking^ i. e. / had struck. ' 

In the Passive Voice^ the compound tenses of the first 
order denote that the action is finished at the time marked 
bj the auxiliary verb ; ^ta mi biiailte', / am struck. 

Those of the second order denote that the action is newly 
^finished at the tilhe marked by the auxiliary (o) ; *ta mi iar 

* mo bhualadh', / am after piy striking^ or / am after the 
striking of me ; which has always a passive signification ; that 
is^ it is always understood, from this form of expression^ 
that striking is the action of some agent different from the 
jgerson struck. It is equivalent td / have been, struck.^ Je 
viens d* etrefrappe, T 

A set of Compound Tenses^ of a structure similar to 
these last, having the preposition *ag', in place of *iar', is 
'sometimes used, and in a passive sense,^ denoting that the 
action is going on at the time marked by the auxiliary , as 
'tha 'n tigh *g a thogail', tlhe house is at its buildings i. e. a-r 
buHding ; ^seabliadhna agus dafhichead bha 'n teampuU 'g 

* a thogaiP, forty and six years was this temple in building. 


(o) Though this be the precise import of the Compound 
Tenses of the second order, yet they are not strictly confined tp 
the point of time stated above j but are often used to denote past 
time indefinitely. In this way, they supply the place of the 
Compound Tenses of the first order, in those verbs which have 
no passive participle. 



JOO 0F*rfB>AhTs [Part II. 

Gillies's CoU^a p. ^, Sa in EngLiibi ^he book is a^^ 
priming J. the desd^s'« Doug* A8 h. 


The foUo^ng fcbcme ibqws the differoil; modi^caticms 
o/ tkti&f as ,€xprefled by tbe fereral Tenfes of the Gaelic 
Verb) brought together lAto one view^ and coqipared with 
the cprreTponding Tenfes of the Greek Verb in Moor^<s 

Greek Grammar. ' / V 

ACltVE VOlGfi. 

# - 

Indicative bf Afiinhative Mood. 


Prefent itenfe, 
Ta mi ag bualadh^ rvTrra, I {krike, or am ftrlking. 

Bha mi ag bualadby trvTtToi^, I was ftriking. - 

Buailidhmi > ^ . C I wiU ftrike^ or be 

Bithidh mi ag bualadh, 3 ^'^'^''' \ ftriking. 

Aorift or Preterite, 
Bhus^ii mif ^Tt'^f «> I ftnick* 

Ta mi lar biiateeft, Ttrvf «, t have ftrutk. 

Bha mi iar bnaladh, ittfi^fefr^ I had ftiruck. 

Interrogative or Negative Mood* 

■ ^ Prefent. 

Am bheil mi ag bualadh 'i Am I ftriking ? 

An rbbh mi ag bualadh ? Was I ftriking ? 

Am buail mi ? Shall I ftrike ? 


Part II.3 OP 4PBECM. 101 

Jm/l ot Pftteriii. 
An do bhiiia n& ^ • < ' Did I ftrike? 

Am bheil mi iar bualadh ? -.HaTe I firuck. 

PlupeffeSi, \- 
An robh mi iar bualadh ? Had I ilnick ? 

Subjunftive VHopii ,. 



Bbuaillnn, 7 , » t ' u a -t 

«, . , . 1 1 jt r trvwTOv av, 1 would ftrikc. 

Bhitmnn ag bualadhy j 

Ma bhuaileas mi. If I flxall ftrike. 

Bbithimi iar bualadh^ Itv^^r ov, I would have ftrugk. 

. Impetalttve Mood. 
Buaileam, \jtx. xtie ftrike. 

Buail, ri/Tre/ Strii^e. 

- Iff/fnifibe Mcodf 

Am bualadh, to rvTrrhy, 'the ftriking. 

A' bhualaidh, iv Ti/«rr«rJ', Of the ftriking. 

Ag bualadh^ Ik tu Tva-rw, A-ftriking. 

Indicative or AMrmative Mood. 


Ta mi g aih bhualadb,. TifirT$fiii, I am in ftriking f'^y. 

Bha mi 'g am bhualadb, trvTrro/jmr, I was in ftriking. 

BiddS^rbuailtc. }-"'ffl««^«, I'fhaUbcftruck. 

(^) See Moor. So, * tfa)i 'rt tigh *g a thogail/ the bouse u it 

102 OF THE PARTS ^ [Pecj^t IL 

^rjfi jor PreUriU^ 
Bhuailcadh mi . €TU(p9m, I wa$ finick. 


Tamiiarmobhualadh, 3 ei^t, y 


Bha mi buailte, ) TirvufAim 7 r i. j v a-. i_ 

„. uv 1 jt r • H "ad been Itruck. 

Bhamiiarmobhualadhj ^v, y < 

Interrogative or Negative Mood. 

Am buailear mi ? Shall I be ftruck ? 

Aorj/l or Preterite, 
An do bhuaileadh mi ? Was I ftruck ? 

Am bheil mi buailte ? \ 


An robh mi buailte ? 7 tt t t t^ « , > 

A uu uu ^1 ji. 3 r Had I been ftruck ? 

An robh mi lar mo bhualadh r y 

Subjun^ve Mood. 

Bhuailteadh mi, krvwri/xm or, I fhould be ftruck. 

Ma bhuailtear mi. If I fhall be ftruck. 

Bhithinn buailte, \irv^im\l fliould have been 

Bhitjiinn iar mo bhualadh 3 aV, y ftruck. 

Imperative Mood, 

Buailtear mi. Let me be ftruck. 

Buailtear tlfu, r\jnTd^ Be thou ftruck. 



Buailte, riTv/ufityoc, Struck. 

.,,.,.. i.i_ 1 11. 3 ^ Have I been ftruck ? 

Am bheil mi lar mo bhualadh r 

Partll.] oFSPEECfi. 103 

It will afford fatisfa£tioa to the grammatical retderj^ to 

fee how correfily the various modifications of time, as 

' diftinguifhed and arranged by Mr Harris, are exprcfled in 

the Gaelic vferb, kj the auxiliaries^ *bi' be^ and Mol' going. 

See Hermes B. I. c» "]* 

Aori/i of the Prefent. 
TuwTOf I firike, — — — 

. " Jorifi of the Pafl. 

£ri/>i/a, I ftruck, Bhuail mi. 

• . ' • t • • 

. , * .. * I Aoriflofthe Future. 
Tyxf^i, ' ' ' I (hs^ ftrike*, Buailidh mi. 

Inc^ivfi Prefent. 
MiKKQ TVTrretr, I am going to ftrike, Ta mi dol a bhual^h* 

Middle or extended Pri^, 
TyyX**'" TVTTJW', : J am ftriking,"- . . Ta mi ag bualadh* 

• Completive Prefent. 
TtTVfa, I have ftruck, Ta nii iar bualadh. 

Inceptive Pq/l. 
^fjuKKoY rvTrr^v, I was going to ffrike, Bha mi dol a bhual- 


Middle or eitt ended Pafl, 
ErvTTToVy I was ftriking, Bha mi ag bualadh. 

Completive Pq/l* 
t,Ti7vfeir, 1 had ftruck^ Bha mi iar bualadh. 

Inceptive Future* 
MiKKuvu TVTTTetv, I ihall be going to Bithidh mi dol a 

ftrike, bhualadh* 

Middle or extended Future^ 
JLvofjiOLi Tvrrur, I fhall be ftriking, Bithidh mi ag bual- 
Completive Future, 
Ero/xai nrv^ai, I ftiall hate ftruck, Bithidh mi iar bual- 



104 <>f TH« f j^RTS [Part II. 

JKRMQVl^9> VlptBS QT THE F^RCI? Cf aflUfi^AjTIQN, 

Beir, kar^ 

t . > 

ABive Voice* 

Preterite. , Future. 

Affirm, Do rugi Beiridh. 

Negate D* rug, Beir. 

SubjunB. Bheirinn^ Bheireas* 

Imp^at. Beiream. pffin^ ^Beirfinn^ breith. 

Paffive Voice. 

• • I' 

Affirm. Do mgadh, Bctrear. 

iieg^i* Tf rugadh, Beirear. 

SubjunB. Bheirteadb^ Bheirear* * 
Jmp^(^^ Beirthe^Tp 

Clfi^INNy hear. 

A^iv^ Voice. 

Preterite. Future. 

Affirm. Do chuala, Cluinnidh. 

Negat. Cuala, Cluinn. 

SubjunB. Chluinnin, Chluinneas* 

Imperat. Quinneam. Injin. Quinntbn. 

Pqjftve Voice. 

Affirm. Do chqaladlii Cluinnear. 

Negate Cualadh, Cluinnear. 

SutJunB. Qiluinnteadhi Chluinnear. 
Imperat* Cluinntear, 


Part IL] . OF SPEECH. 105 

Dean, do or moke. 

ABive Voice, 
Preterite. Future. 

Affirm, Do rinn, Nji. 

Negat. D* rinn, Dean. 

SubjunB, Dheanain Ni. 

ImpefMt. Deanam* Infin. Deanamh. 

Paffive Vgice. 
Affirm, Do rinneadh, NIthear. 

Negate D' rinneadh, Deanar. 

SubjunSl, Dheantadh, Nithear. 

Imperat. Deantar. Particip, . Deanta» 

Sach, go. 

ASfive Voice. 
Preterite. Future. 

Affirm, Do chaidhj Theid. 

NegaU Deachaidh, Teid. (q) 

SuhjunS. Rachainn. Theid. 

Imperat, Racham. Ifffin. DoL 

RuiG) reach* 

A5live Voice, 
Ptefcrite. Future, 

Affirm, Do rainig, Ruigidh. 

Negat, D' rainig, Ruig, 

SubjunSi, Ruiginn, Ruigeas. 

Imperat. Ruigeam^ If^* Ruigfinn, ruigheachd. 


• C^^ *Teid' the Fut. Ncgat. of *Rach' to go^ has been general- 
ly written M'theid*; from an opinioii, it would seem, that the ful} 
form of that Tense is *do th^id*. Yet as the particle *do' is never 
found prefixed to the Future Negative of anj regular verb, it ap- 
pc?p:s more agreeable to the analogy of conjugation to write this 

O • tens9 



[Part IL 

Tabhair, (r) give. 

Active Phice. 


Affirm. Do thug^ 
Uegat. D' thug, 
Subjunct. Bheirinn,tabhairinn, 
Imperat. Tabhaiream, thugam. 

Passive Voiet. 

Affirm. Do thugadh, 
Negat. D' thugadh, 
SubjuncU Bheirteadhy tugtadh 
Imperat. Thugthar. 




Infin. Tabhairt. 




Thig, come. 

Active Voice. 

Affirm. Do thainig, 
NegaJt. DVthaimg, 
Suljunct. Thiginn, 
Imperat, . Thigeam. 



Tig. (0 

Infin. Tighinn, teachd. 


tense in its simplest foria H6id\ See Gael. New Tett. 1767, and 
17M» Matt. xiii. 28. xiv. lfi> A diffisreal mode of writing this 
tense has been adopted in the edition of the Gael. Bible, £din. 
1807, where we uniformly find Mth^id, dthoir, dthig.* 

(r) Throughout the verb 'tabhair\ the syllables abbmir are 
often contracted into oir; as 'toir, toSrmn% ^. Acts, xviii. 10* 
Sometimes written 'd^thoir, d'thoirinu^} rather improperly. See 
the last note (q\ 

(s) *Tig* ra&er than V thig'. See the last note (^)# 

Part II.] OF 8P££CH. 107 


Abair, (t) May. 

Active Voice. 
Affirm. Thubhairt, dabhairt| 
Negat. Dubhairty 
SuijuncU Theirinn, abairlnn. 


Imperat. Abaiream. 

Infin. Radh. 


Passive Voice. 

Affirm* Dubhrjulhy 
Negat. Dubhradh, 
Subjuttct. Theirteadh, abairteadh, 
Imperat* Abairear (»)• 

Faic, see. 

Active Voice* 
Preterite. Future. 

Affirm, Do chunnaic, Chi. 

Negat. Faca, Faic. 

Subjunct. Chithinn, faicion^ Chi. 

Imperat. Faiceam. Infin. Faicsinn. 

Passive Voice. 
^Affirm. Do chunnacadh, Chi&ear. 

Negat. Facadh, Faicear. 

Subjunct. Chiteadh, faicteadh, Chithear. 

Imperat. Faicthear. Infin. FaicsinUt 


(/) A Prcs. Aff. of this Verb, borrowed from the Itnfc, is 
often used in the G. SS. 'Deiream* I say^ Meir e' be soitb^ Ideir 
iad^ they s^y. 

(») ^Dubhairt, dubhradh% are contracted for Mo thubhairt% 
&c. ^Abairinn, abaiream^ abairear% are often^contmetdl mfd 
'abratmi^ abram, ali>rar\ 

108 OF THE PARTS [Part IL 

Faigh, get. 

Active Voice. 
Preterite. Future. 

jfffirm. Fhuair, Gheibh. 

Negat. D'fhuair; Fsugh. 

Subjunct. Gheibhinn, faighinn, Cheibh. 

Imperat. Faigheam, Ir^n. Faghail, faotaiim. 

Passive Voice. 
Affirm. Fhuaradh, Gheibhear. 

Negat. D' f huaradb, Faighear. 

Subjunct. Gheibhteadhy faighteadhy Gheibhear. 
Imperat. Faightear. 


Tbe verbs *Tabhair, Abair, Faic, Faigh', have a double 
Preterite Subjunctive. The latter form of it, which is de- 
rived regularly from the Root, is used after the same par- 
ticles which are prefixed to the Negative Mood, vi%m *ni, 
< cha, nach, micr, gu, an, am'. 


The fpllowing defective verbs are in common use. 

*Arsa' said^ quoth, indeclinable ; used only in the Pret. Aff. 
through all the persons ; *arsa Donull' quoth Donald. 

*Tiucainn' come along^ Hiucainnibh* come ye along^ used 
only in the 2d pers. sing, and plur. of the Imperative. 

*Theab mi' / was near to, I Iidd almost ; used through all 
the persons of the Pret. Aff. and Neg. ; as *theab iad bfaith 
*caillte' they bad nearly perished. 

*Is mi' / am^ used in the Prcs, and Pret. Tenses, which 
are declined as follows. 


Part II.] 





tnattve mooa. 



Sing. . 


^ Jstu, 


Bu mhi, / wasy it was I. 


Bu tUy 



B' c ; . 


r. Pbsr. 


X l^ sinn. 

Bu sInn, 



2 Is sibhy 


Bu sibh, 


3 Is iad. 

B' iad. 



Negative Mood. 

Sing. Sing, 

" I mi, / am not, &c. Bu mhi^ / was mt^ &cs 

2 tU> Bu tUy 

3 ۥ B* e ; 

P&r. Plur. 

1 sinn, Bu sinn, 

2 sibh, Bu sibh, 
_ 3 iad. B* iad. 

Subjunctive Mood. 

Sing. Sing. 

1 Ma *s mi, If I hey it be I, Nam bu mhi, If I were^ it 

2 's tu, ' Bu tu, \were I. 
3'se; B'e; 

Plur. Plur. 

1 's sinn, B«i sinn, / 

2 's sibb, Bu sibh, 

3 »s iad. B' iad. 

The only varieties of form which this Verb admits of, 
are the two syllables Hs' apd ^bu'. Each of these syllables 



cdmmonly loses the vowel when it comes in apposition with 
another vowel. 

It is remarkable, that in the Pres. Neg. the Verb disap- 
pears altogether, and the preceding Partidtj^Hiiy cha, nach^ 
^ gur', S&c. and the subsequent Pronoun, or Noun, are al- 
ways understood to convey a proposition, or a qucgtiony as 
unequivocally as though a Verb had been expressed ; as 
'cha tu* thou art not, hiach tV is be not ? is it not be f ^am 
*misee?' is i I ? ^cha luchd-brathaidh sinn' we. are not 
spies. Gen. xlii. 31. 'Am m6 thusa na Abraham?' Art 
thou greater than Abrakeam t 'gur coir umuigh a dheanamh' 
that it is proper to prat^ Luke, xviii. 1. (a?) 


(x) It may appear an odd peculiarity In the Gaelic, that in 
many el the most common jphrases, a proposition or question 
should thus be expressed without the least trace of a Verb. It 
can hardly be said that the Substantive Verb is understood^ fi» 
then there would be no impropriety in expressing it. But the 
fact is, that it would be completely contrary to the idiom pnd 
usage of the language, to introduce a Substantive Verb in these 
phrases. It will dimini^ our surprise at this peculiarity to •!>• 
- serve, that, in the antient languages, numerous exampks occur" 
of sentences, or clauses of sentences, in which the Substantive 
Verb is omitted, without occasioning any obscurity or ambiguity; 
and this in Prose as well at in Verse. Thus in Hebrew ^ Gen. 
xlii. 11, 13, 14. ' We [are] all one man's sons — we [are] true 

* men-— thy servants [are] twelve brethren—the youngest [isj 
< with his father— ye [are] spies—' &c. 

*Q9% a^tti^f iFoXvKot^tutn* Iliad^ B. 204. 

■I KOKtt xf^iM ttr arjfn Hes» £• km H. i. 

-«— fy«» )f Tii i rttx^vwatni* Tbeoc. IdyL 7. 

et mt genus ab Jove summo. Virg. JEn. VI. 123. 

varium et mutabile semper Femina. Mn. IV. 569. 

* Omnia semper suspecta atque soUicita \ nuUus locus amici* 

* tise.' Cic. de Amic, 15. 

* Fennis mira feritas, foeda paupertas^ non anna, non equi, 

* non penates ; victui herba, vestitui pelles, cubile humus \ sola 
' in sagittis spes,* &c. Tacit, de wufr. Germ. Cap. uii. In these 
and the like examples, the Substantive Verb might have been 
expressed, if with less elegance, yet without grammatical im- 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. }ll 


Any transitive Verb may be so combined with a Pro- 
noim» either Personal or Possessive^ that it shall denote the 
agent to be also the object of the action. This may be 
called the reciprocating stcfte of the Verb. It is declined as 

Buail thu feio, strike thystlf. 
Simple Tenses. 
Jlffirfnatviie Mood. 

Preterite. Future. 

Sing* Sing. 

1 Do bhuail mi soi fein^ Buailidli mi mi fein, 
Bhuail mi mi.fei% I mMI strike myself. 

I struck myself. 

2 Do bhuail thn diu fiein^ * Bnailidh to thu fein, 

3 Do bhuail se e feiii % Buailidh se e £ein^ 

Phr^ Plur. 

1 Do bhuail siim siim finn, Buailidh sinn sinn fein, 

2 Do bhuail sibh sibh fiein, Buailidh sibh sibh fein, 
' 3 Do bhuail siad iad fein. Buailidh siad iad fein. 


propriety. What has been frequently done in other languages, 
seems* in Gaelic, to have been adopted, in certain phrases, ad 
an invariable mode of speech. 

The omisiien of the Substative Verb is not anknown in 
iPngUshj as, 

■ In whiter awful thou.' Thomson. 

\ A m i n is te ri ng angel thou.* Stott. 

^ A, cruel sister she.' Maffet. 



^ 112 • OF THE PARTS [Part II, 

-^ Negative Mood* 

> Preterite. Future. 

>Sing. , . . . 5i«^. 

cha, C 1 Do bhuail mi mi fein, Bhuail mi mi fein, 

&c. ( / struct not myself. I shall not strike myself. 


M Subjunctive 'Mood. 

] Sing. Sing. 

1 Bhuailinn mi fein, 1 Bhuaileas mi mi fein, 
/ would strike myself. J shall strike myself. 


^ Imperative Mood. 

' Sing. Plur. 

/ 1 Buaileam mi fein, Buaileamaid sian feio, 

Let me strike myself. 

2 Buail thu feio, Buailibb sibh fein, 

.i 3 Buaileadb e e fein. Buaileadh iad ia4 fein* 


f Infinitive Mood. 

'■f, 'g am bbualadb fein, striking myself. 

'g ad bbualadb fein, striking thyself. 

'g a bbualadb fein, striking himself. 
" 'g ar bualadb fein, striking ourselves. 

'g 'ur bualadb fein^ striking yourselves. 

'g am bualadb fern, striking themselves. 

iar mo bbualadb fein, ajier striking myself^ &c. 
j[ gu mo bbualadb fein, to strike myself &c. 

Compound Tenses. 

Affirmatifoe Mood. 

Present. Preterite. 

1 Comp^ 1, Comp. 

Ta mi *g am bbualadb fein, Bha mi 'g am bbualadb fein, 

/ am striking myself I was striking myself. 


Part II.] OF SPEECH. 1 1 3 


1. Coft^. 

Bidh mi 'g am bhualadh fern, 
/ witt he strHmg try self. 

Fresenfi Pretgrite, 

2. Comp. 2. Comf>. 

Ta mi iar mo, &c« Bha mi iar mo, &Cf 

/ iave struct myself. I bad struck myself. 


2. C(mf. 
Bidh mi iar mo, &c. 

/ shall have struck^ &:c« 
Negative Mood. 

Present. Preterite. 

1. Comp. !• Comp9 

* Ni bheil mi 'g am, See, Ni robh mi 'g am^ &c. 

lam not striking myielf. * I was not striking myself 


1. Comp. 

Ni bi mi 'g am bhudladh fein. 
I shall not be strikh^ myself. 

Present. Preterite, 

2. Coimp. 2. Comp. 

Ni bheil mi iar mo, Scc.^ Ni robh ml iar nio, See. 
/ bow not struck nyself I had not struck myself* 


2. Comp. 

Ni hi mi iar mo, 6cc. 

/ sbaU not have struct myself . 



114 OFf^ftfA^P Ifl^rVilii 

t i. i . 

Subjtmijm ^^^^ 

Preterite. ..v, ,,v ^^. Future. 

1. C'offT^. 1. Camp. 

Bhithinn 'g ^m^jj^c^ Ma bhithe^iQ^ 'i am, 

/ would be striiingf ^c* If I shall fyi siri/l^g, &c. 

Bhithi^g. ht n?^%^<?- Ma>hiitUc]p W; iftJ^ W> &c- 

1 would have struck^ &c. ,^^]^ I shall have struct j &c. 

Imperative il^^^,. ^ ^; ;-- , jj^nitive Mood, 

1. Cof»^. Dobhith'gatnbhualadhfein, 

Bitbeatn ^g am bhualadb fein, lar bitb 'g am bbualadb fein. 
Let me be str.i^ifig4^self. To have been^ st^^i^f^g myself. 

From tfre fcTfigPW. ^?^mple it^^jj^^s^ %t|ti^i\S^b, 
in it^ reci^ro?fktjp^j^s^t!?#^ i:etaii\s its^ j^ri^iaajl %n\ thi:qu|h- 
out its several Moods, Tej^^^d Persons. In the simple 
TenseSf the Personal Proji^^Q^^^ iipmediately following the 
Verb is the N«Witff^ii^t:W.|tlM|;y«rhfr JTJw same Pronoua 
repeated is to b^^jH^s^Mi W. iji| ^lb« rf«epUve state. The 
word ^fein' corresponding to the English selfy accompanies 
the last Proft^wa, ^^ . 

In the coff^jf^ij^d/ Tenses J the auxiliary V^^.^s usual, is 
placfilfipslii .yWk fiiflteYv^the Per§f»^ ErimPiW Wr ife Ho^ 
minati^f^-: tikW- Ui«r?t«|K *ag' abri^god* ^ 'ft m tfefi C<Mn- 
pound Tenses of the first Q$49fji ^i^r' in those of the second 
order; after which foUoyj^-^tJ^ ^Possessive Pronoun, cor« 
responding in PersQ$t %<l ^^V^^lkt i^ the Nominative to 
the Verb : a;^^,!^^^ tlj^ jfefoifeF^, which is the Noun to 
the Possessive Pronoun. *Mo' and *do* are here changed, 
I^]^ ly^^t^j^esis and the substitqftion of one broad vowel for 


Pdr 1 11; j ' cxr ^pitdns 1 1 5 

:i»v5therv Ititd HM' iktS %i*. fFn mi '^ fttll b&ct^d^h fdti\ 
tenOttfA ^ttiVLyyi±, I dm it My oio« sftitif^^ i.^. I atl^ nt 
the miSkji of tttjself^ eijfiiivklfint to, / ttm itriU/ng mpelf. 
The rcdj^rofeal »feift' is ibteefihics omitted ih the eotnpband 
Tens^ ; but fe genetalljr i^aitifed iti the Sd Persofit, tb prt- 
yent their being ttiistak'ett' for the same Persvhift wheh uiiid 
without reciprocitipn : Ha c* 'g a bhtialadh', he is striking 
him ; 'ta c 'g a Wtualadh fciri% le is sttiUng himself » 

OF ttlE IMflJ^HS^NAt V^t Ot VZkB%. 

Itltransitiyfe Vcrbi, tbo^gh they do not regukHy ad^t 
of a Passive Voic6, yet are tned impersoHally in the 3d Pcrs. 
Siilg* of the Passive T^setl. This impersonal use of the 
Paisir* df irttrattsitive Viibi is founded on the sanae prin* 
ciple trffhi the Latin In^riotials cmcurritiir^ pugndtum estj 
8t€. trWch are &iifcAv%\^nt 16 ^dnifm'sus ft, ptigna fhcta est. 
Sb in G^Ke/ ^lnaisf*dt leai^V I itiff ifiove, Psal. cx^^i. d/ 
*gluaisfear leo% they will m^e, Psal. etiii. 'S. - *ghuileadh 
* leinn% we did titHeepj ^BeBatti:^ ^ /tt6bk\ PsaJ. ctxxrii. l. 
Edit. Bdinb. llftt* *chi bhitWar sa6r o -phefacadh', tberir 
tvameth ndt'sin, ¥ttW. r. IP. 

T^ the Class ti£ Impet sonals ott^ht i6' be referred a ter- 
tiim part rf tihe Verb trWd^ has nbt yet btrti itatenlioMfd/ 
It resembles in fortfthe ¥ti^. N^t. Pksdtl^i^findlekk'y' 
*fe}cear, faighear% gcc. In signification, it is Acdve, Pre- 
sent, and Affirmative* In the course of a narrative^ when 
tb^ speaker wishes to .^aUvfU bis stjle by jr^f^sefting t)ie 
occurrdnces narrated iii ^prtitat, oitd pasmrg acttfatty m 
view ; instead of the Pf^te*it(§iTeiWeS, he adoptk the Pan 6t 
the Verb now descAbed^ ^oqifloying it in an impersonal ac«. 
ceptation, without a Nottnativa to it ez{««ssed. Ottt or 
twa examples- will serve to exMbit the dsi^ahrf effect 6t this 
anomalous. Tanse.— -^Shuidh .^ 6^^ bb^an air sgeir^is aisuU 
< air an lear. Chunasitc i long a^ Mudid-iurbarndbh nAa 

* tonn. 

116 OP THE PART^ [Part IL 

tonn. Dh* aithnich i aogas a leannain, is chlif g a cridhe 'n a 
com. Gun mhoille gun taxnb, btudkar dh' f hios na traigfae ; 
tigVA faigbear an laoch, 's a dhaoine m' a thimchioll'. 
In English thus : ^The young woman sat on a jrock^ and 
her eye on the sea. She spied a ship coming on the tops 
of the^waves. She perceived the likeness of her lover, 
and her heart bounded in her breast. Without delay or 
stop, she hastens to the shore ; and^/^uZr the hero, with his 
men around him'.-— Again : ^Mar sin chuir sinn an oidhche 
tharuinn. 'S a mhadainn dh' imich sinn air ar turus. O 
bha sinn 'n ar coigrich anns an tlc,gabAar suas gu muUach 
an t-sleibh, direar an tulach gu grad, agus seaUar mu 'n 
cuairt air gach taobh. Faictar thall fa 'r comhair smth. 
cas ag ruith le gleann cumhann% &c. ^Thtts we passed 
the night. In the morning we pursued our journey. As 
we were strangers in the land, we strikt up to the top of 
the moor, ascend ih^ hill with speed, and look around us. 
on every side. We see over against us a rapid stream^ 
rushing down a narrow valley' £cc. 
The scrupulous chasteness of sjtyle maintained in t&e 
Gkielic Version of the sacred Scriptures, has totally ex- 
cluded this form of expression. It is, however, universally 
known and acknowledged, as an established idiom of the 
Gaelic, very conamon in the moudis of those who speak it| 
and in animated narration almsst in^pensiUe (y^. 

■ . OF 

fyj The effect of this Tense iii 'namltioti seems to be very 
nearly^ if not precisely; the same with that of the Present of the 
Infinitive in Latin ; as in these passages : 

• * ■■ ■■ misere diseedere quaerens, • 

* Ire modo ocius \ interdum consisUre.; in aurem 

* Dicere nescio quid puero— .' . ^ Hor^ Sat. 1 • 8. o. 9. 

* At Danaum proceres, Agamem'noniaeque phajanges 
. ^ Ingenti trefidare metu \ pars vertere tcrga, 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 1 17 


It has bsen already shown how ^bi' be^ is used as an 
Auxiliary in the declension of all verbs. There are two 
other verbs which are occasionally employed in a similar 
capacity ; the one with an- Active the other with a Passive 
effect. These are 'dean' to do or makey and ^ach' to go. 

The simple tenses of ^dean' combined with the Infinitive 
of any verb, correspond to the English auxiliary do^ did. It 
sometimes adds to the emphasis, but not to the sense. The 
following are examples of this Auxiliary combined with 
the Infinitive of an Intransitive verb. ^Riim e seasamh' he 
puide standings u e. he did stand; 'dean suidhe* make sittings 
1* e. sit down ; ^dheanainn gul agus caoidh* / would make 
weeping and lamentation^ i. e. /. would weep and lament. The 
same arrangement takes place when the Auxiliary is com* 
bined with the Infinitive of a Transitive verb, accompanied 
by a possessive pronoun $ as %inn e mo bhualadh* be made 
my striking^ i. e. be made [or caused^ the striking ofme^ or he 
did strike me ; 'cha de^ mi do mholadh' I will not make 
t^pur praising^ u e. I will not praise you ; ^deaa do gharadh' 

. make 

*' Ceu quondam peti^re rates ^ pars tollere voctm.* 

^ JEneid. VI. 492. 
^ —.— » nihil illi tendere contra \ 
* Sed celerare fiigam in ^Ivas, ttjidere nocti.* 

JEneid. IX. 378. 
' Tarquinius fateri am<M:emy orare^ miscere precibus minas, 

* ver^Mre in onmes partes mulidbrem animtun»* Liv^ L d8. 

^ Nttqne post id - locortua Jagurthae dies aut nox ulla quiett 
*• fbere : neque loco, neque mortali cuiquam, aut tempori satis 
' credere; dves, hostes, juxta ivM'/artffv ; cirvumspectare tmaat^ et 
' «MBni tir&^txxpaveseere; alio atque alio locoy saepe contra decus 

* regium, nocXxi reqmescere ; interdumsomnoexoitos, arreptisar- 

* miS| tumttltum^r^if ; ita formidine quasi vecocdia escagitari.'* 

SmU. Bell. Jtiguu m. 

118 OF TfiE paHts [Part IL 

make your warmings ^dean do gharadh fein' maie your own 
warmingy i. e. warm ytmrself. 

The Simple Tenses of *rach*, combined t^rith the Infini. 
tive of a transitive verb, correspond to the Passive Voicd of 
the verb; as, ^chaidh mo bhualadh* fOf striking wettr^ u e. 
eanie to pass^ or happened^ eqtiivalent to / was struct ; ^ch- 
' adh do mharbhadh' joar kiOing would happen^ i. e. yau 
would be ailed* * 

In phrases where either of the auxiliaries Mean' or *rach' 
is combined with a transitive verb, as above, the possessive 
pronoun may be exchanged for the corresponding personal 
pronoun in the emphatic form, followed by the preposition 
*do' before the Infinitive. The preposition in this case is 
attenuated into ^', which, before a verb of the second coi^« 
jugation is dropped altogether. Thus^ ^rinn e mo bhusdaidhv 
he struck me^ 'rinn e mis' a bhualadh** be struck MS, ^haidh 
^ n^o bhualadh' I was struck, chaidh mis* ft bhualadh^ / mjf- 
selfwtts struck. In like manner^ a noiln, or a demonstrative 
pronoun, may occupy the place of this personal pronoun ; 
as ^chaidh aa ceannard a mharbhadh ("s;^, agus na daoine 
^ chur 'san riiaig' the leader was killed, and tbe men put fH 
jQight ; Hheid am buachaiU' a bhualadh, agus an trend a 
* sgapadh' tbe shepherd will be smitten^ and the sheep scatter^ 
ed; 4s math a chaidh sin innseadh dhuit' that was weU told 




(^s) *An ceannard a mb^bhadh^ aiay be contidere^ M tbe 
nominative to the verb 'cbaidh^^ and so in similar phrases^ much 
IB the same way as weimd, in Latin, mi I^finttive with a^ ac- 
cusative before it, beccme the nominative to a veib ) as, ^bond' 

* nem hoounis ihcommodo suum M^^^comnodmn #'/ contra imi- 

* turam\ Cie* de Offie. III. 5* *Turpe est toe qui bene nati sunt 

* turpiter vivere\ 

P^rtlf;] oraPEpcH. ,U9 


< • i •■■:,, 

p 4 

An Adverb, considered as a sepa^a^ ptat of spei^db^ jm a 

single indeclinable word, significant of tiiiiey plaoto^ dir HQ^ 

other circumstance or modification of an Actiea or ^mtti^HitlL 

The number of simple Adverbe in Gaelic is but vindl. 

Adverbial phrases, nvadt up of two or fnor^ ^fTurdbf ttce siif« 

ficientlj numerous. Ally adJeetiTe niaj be convened u^tm 

an adverbial expression, by prefixing to it the prepositfdfi 

*gu' to; as *f irinnejtch' frir, <gu: fiiinneach' [corr^sfiMdifig^ 

to [what ij] true, xxrtfp^ leAn^ij, i, e, tfUfy. Adverbs eft iSis 

form nred not be etnim0ailB4- It mLy he \isef ul, howij^^t, 

to give a list of other adverbs and adverbial phirasi^s, mo^t 

, crommonlj in use ; subjoining, where it ckh bo'done, alitcv- 

x-al translation of their component paPdV ^i ^Is^ the En^lisli 

suppression which corresponds mp9t 9Cai;ly tJ»):l^t sc0$|p ^Q^ 

t"he Gaelic phrase. • .. n 

; ft 

' '■ ■ ■ - 

Adverbs of Ti|Die. . 

cheana ; already, truly. 

chianamh ; a little while ago. 

chlisge ; quickly, in a trice. 

A choidhche, 7 . 

> for ever. 
Choidh ; 5 

A.nisy 1 
^IJsej 5 

Aris, 7 

Ainmic, 1 - 

Airbal!; on [1^} jjlof^ inmiediately. 
iUr dbtireadh i hii^^t^. 



1?0 OB THE PARTS [Pdlt II. 

Air tboifeach; foremoft. 

Air tus I in the beginning, at firft. 

Air uairibh ; at times, fometimes. 

Am Idiadhna } this year* 

Am fieadh ; whilft. 

Am feafd ^ for* ever* 

Am msdreach ; to-Borroir« 

An ceart uair ; the very homr^ prefently. 

An comhnuidh \ in c$rititmation^ continually^ 

An de $ yeft^ay. , 

An deigh laimh } behind band^ afterwards. 

An diugh ; the lpre/int2 day, to-day (mJ. 

An nochd i the ipre/ent'] nighty to night. 

An fin ; in that [time'], then. 
An trath ; the time^ when. 

i: IS","' h -. - p«f- 

An uair ; the time^ when. 
.An uiridh ; laft year. 
Aon usdr ; one time, once. 
Cia fhada ; how long. ' ' '^ 

Cia tnc ; } 

C'uine ; what time, when. 

Dh' oidhche ; by night (i). ' Dt 

(i?) So in Hebrew, tbe article prefixed to the nouas dgf, 
nighty imports the present day or night. S^e Exod. xiv. IS. 

(b) Perhaps the proper Prep, in these phrase* is ^d#% iM^^ ^ 
[see the Prepositions m the next Chap.], as we find the ss^nt 
Prep, similarly applied in' other languages]^ Me nuit^ bj nii^ 
John, iii. 2, Me no^te% Hor. Epis. i. 2.. 32. Me tertia vigilia^, 
Caes. B. G. 


Pai^ II,] 




Do ghnath ; [according] to cuftom^ always 
Fa dhcoidh ; at the end^ at laft. 
Fathaft,> ^.,, 
F6s; '\l-'^^^^ 

Gu brath (c)^ ) , , » . #■ 

Gu la bhrlth ; \ ^'^ ^*^ ^^^^^"^ conflagration, for ever. 

Gu £i\mn(c)\ to the expiration of time ^ or till the dduge^ forever. 

Gu minic j often. 

Gu fiorruidh ; to ever-fiowngy for ever. 

Gu futhainn 9 for ever. 

Gu trie ; often. 

Idir; at all. « 

Mar tha ; as it is^ already. 

Mu dheireadh \ at laft. 

O cheann tamuill ; a while ago, 

O chian ; yroOT j^r, of old, long ago. 

Re feal, ) r .• 
■n ^ . Mir for a time. 
Ke tamuill;3 

Riamh j ever ; faid of paft time only. 
Roimh laimh \ before hand. 
Uair egin \ fome time. 

Adverbs of Place. 

t»i_ * ron this fide, here below. 
JBhos; y 

-A leth taobh \ to one fide, afide. 

-A mach, |^ .,, ^ 
^ . ' > without, out, 
-A muigh ; 3 

A mh^n^ 

Qc) These expressions are affirmed, not without reason, to re- 
efer to the supposed destruction of the world by fire, or by water y 
sevents which were considered as immeasurably ^remote. See 
Smith'^s Gal, Antiq, p. 59, 60. Another explanation has be^n 
given «f *dilinn', as being compounded of *dith% want^ failure^ 
and ^linn* an age^ qu. absumptio saeculu 

122 OF THE VAKts [Part II. 

NaU -'^'^'^^' 

,. ' >afar. 

A mh^ (d) ; downwards^ down. 
A 'naird ; to the height, upwards^ up. 
A nail, V 

A nuas ; from above, down hither* 

^T ?i" * ?to the other fide. 
Null, nunn ; 3 

A thaobh ; afide. 

Air aghaidh, > [the-]/ace, forward. 
Airadhartj j ^ -^^ ' 

Air ais ; backwards. 

Air dbeireadh $ hindmoft# 

Air thoifeach ; foremoft. 

Am fadj 

An cein 

An gar ; dofe to. 

An laimh \ in hand, in cuflody. 

An fin ; //I that [J>lace]j there. 

An fo ; in this [J>lace']f here. 

An fiid ; in yon Iplacejf yonder. 

An taice^ clofe, adjoining, in contact. 

Afieach, \ / » .^, . 

Aftigv- r '>* '"'^' *" 

C aite ; what place^ where. 

Cia an taobh \ nvhatjide, whither* 

C ionadh \ .what place, whither* 

Fad as ; a far off. 

Fad air aftar ; far iiway. 

Far; where, — relatively. 

^^"2 ]near. 

Am fogus ; 3 

H-uig* agus uaith \ to and fro. 


C^/) Perhaps *am f an% from *f an^ or *f ^nadh* a descent; Sec 
Ihuyi^s Arch. Brit. Tit. x. in loco. 

(e^ i. e. *anns an teach, anns an tigh% in the house. So in 
Hebrew, n^» witbin. Gen. vi. 14. 

Part II.J OF SPEECH. 1 23 

^ ' > below there, below yonder* 

Le leathad fBya defcent^ downwards* 

Leis ; along with itj down a ftream, dedivkyi &c« 

Mu 'n cuairt j by the circuit, around. 

Ri bruthach ; to an a/cent, upwards. 

Ris ; in an expofed ftate, bare, uncovered* 

Seachad; paft> afide. 

Sios, a iios ; downwards* 

Suas, a fuas ; upwards* 

Shios ; below there, below yonder. 

Shuas ; above there, above yonder. 

Tarfuing ; acrofs. 

Thairis; over. 

Thall \ on the other fide* 

Uthard \ above there, above yonder, 

De^Cf); fouth. 
Gu deass fonthward. 
A deas ; from the fouth* 

Siar; y^^^^' 

Gus an aird an iar ; weftward* 

On iar i from the weft. 

Tuath; north. 

Gu tuath; northward. 

A tuath ; from the north* 

Ear, Oir, Soir ; eaft* 

Gus an aird an ear ; eaftward. 

Q'n ear j from the eaft. 


(f) ^I>eas\ applied to the hand, sinnfies the right baoJ, So 
in Hebrew, tna^ signifies both Ae rigit band auA Xk^ South. 

(g) *Iar% as a Prepositioii, stgniifies afhr or behind. In like 
^laaner in Hebrew, nHK signifies after ^ or the West. 

124 OF THE ^ARTS jt^aft II. 

Adverbs of Mannet*. 


Air achd ; iii a manner. 

Air a' chuthach, 7 ../i-, ^ j « 
.. , ., ' ^diltraictea. mad* 

Airboile; 3 

Air chall ; loft. 
Air ch6ir 5 aright. 
Air chor ; in a manner. 
Air chor egin ; in fome manner, fomebottr. 
Air chuairt ; fojourning. 
Air chuimhne ; in remembrance. 
Air eigin 5 with difficulty, fcarcely. 
Air fogradh ; in exile, in a fugitive ftate. 
Air ghleus ; in trim. 
Air iomadan ; adrift. 
Air iomroll ; aftray. 
Air iunndran ; amiifing* 
. . , , C trimmed for a£Uon, as a bow bent, a firelock 

^^ ' I cocked, &c. 
Air leth j apart, feparately. 
Air feacharan ; aftray. 
Air fgeul ^ found, not loft. 
Amhain ; only. 
Amhuil, Ji^^^ 
Amhludh ; ^ ' 

Am bidheantas ; cuftomariiy, habitually. 
Am feabhas ; convalcfcent, improving. 
An coinnimh a chinn ; headlong. 
An coinnimh a chuil ; backwards. 

An deidh, 7 j j* j ' 

. , ' > defirous, enamoured^ 

An gcall ; 3 

An nafgaidh ; for nothing, gratis. 

An toit ; in purftiit. 

Araon; together. 

As an aghaidh ; out ofthtface^ to the face, Outright. 

As a cheile ; loofened, disjointed. 

Part II.] 0¥ SPEECH. 125 

Car air char ; roUingi tumbling over and over. 

Cia mar ; as htnv^ how. , , 

C arfon ; on account of what ^ why, wherefore. 

C ionnas ; what manner^ how. 

Cha, cho; not. 

Comhla (h ), mar chomhla, 7 ^ i 

Cuideachd; jtogethcr, m company. 

C'uime ; for what, why. 

Do dheoin, a dheoin ; Ipontaneoufly, intentionally. 

Dh' aindeoin ; againft one's will. 

Do dhlth, a dhith ; a-wanting. 

Do rireadh ; really, adhially, indeed. 

Faletli; feverally, individually. 

Gle; very. 

Gu beachd ; to ohfervation^ evidently, clearly. 

Gu buileach ; to effe^y thoroughly, wholly. 

Gu dearbh ; to convuiumy truly, certainly. 

Gu deimhin ; to ajjurance, afiuredly, verily. , 

Gu leir ; altogether. 

Gu leor; tofuffKuncy^ enough. 

Gun amharus ; without doubty doubtlefs. 

Gun chaird ; without tfji^ inceflantly, without heiitation. 

Leth mar leth ; half and half. 

Le cheile ; with each cither^ together. 

Maraon ; as one^ together, in concert. 

Mar an ceudna ; in like manner, likewife. 

Mar fin ; as that^ in that manner. 

Mar fo ; as this, thus. 

Mar fud ; as yon, in yon manner. 

Mu feach ; in return, alternately. 

Na, Nar ; let not,— ufed optatively^ or imperatively. 

Nach ; that not, who not, not ? 

Ni; not. 


(A) Probably *co luath^ equally quick^ with equal pace. 

ISifi Of THE 3PAUTS [Part IL 

Ni h-cadh (i) / it is not fa. 

Os aird ; openly. 

Os ban* ; on top^ beiide& 

Os iofal ; fccretly, covertly. 

Ro ; very. 

Roimh a cheilc ; prematurely> too haftily. 

Seadhfi^; it is fo. 

T ' h h "'I • 4 "* diforder, in confiifion, (Brrecl about* 

Theagamh; perhaps. 

Uidh air n uidh ; Jlage byjlage^ gradually. 


Thb Prepofitions, flridiy io called, are iingle words^ 
moft of them monyfyllables, employed to mark relation. 
Relation is alfo exprefled by combiaations of words^ which 
often correfpond to iimple prepoiitions io other languages* 
Thefe combinations are> not improperly, ranked among the 
prepofitlons. The following lifts contain^ £rft, the Prepo* 
fitions properly fo called, w'hich are all fimple ; fecondly^ 
improper Prepofitions, which, with one or two'^eiccepcioiis^ 
feem alt to be made up of a iimple Prepc^tion and a Noun. 

Proper Prepofttions* 

Aig, Ag, aU Gu, Gus, to* Rolmhi before. 

Air, orn Gun, without. Tar, Thar, w^r, tfcr^. 

Ann^ in* lar, after. Tre^ 

As, A, out of Le, Leis, nvith^ by. Troimh. 

De, of. Mar, like to. Throim] 

Do, to, Mu, about^ Seach, pa/l^ in compari- 

Eadar, between. O, \Jz^from. ^ {son with. 

Fa, upon. Os, above. 

Fuidh, Fo, under. Re, Ri, Ris, to. The 

(i) I'he probable analysis of *scadli* is *is €\ it v, pronounced 
in one syllable * 's e\ Wbeui this syllable was used as a respon- 

i^drtlL] OF SPEECH. 127 

The Prfeposition ^itm* is often ^Httch double ^aiin zti 
* eolas' in inoivledge, Hitin ari gliocas* in wisdom. The final h 
6f »» is changed into m Ibfefore a labial, as *am mea^g^ d^ 
^Mg^ 'ann am mealdhon* iH fftidst: Before fte Article c&f 
tKe Relative, this Preposition is written *a!nns', asf *ariris' an 
< toiseach* in the beginnings 'an cor anns ani bheil e' iBe con-' 
dkion, in which he is ; and in this situation^ the letters ann 
vab often dropped, and the s alone retamed^ as ' 's an tois- 
*^ each' in the hegintdng. 

^DibV so far as I know, is found in nb Scohish publica- 
tions.' Tlie reasons which have indtibed m^ to asiiign it a 
]^ace among the prepositioflfe will be ihentioried in treating 
of the combinations of the Proper Prepositions with tlie' 
P^rkohal Pronouns. 

The Prejposition *d6*, like the vfetbal paiticle, ^d the' 
Possessive Pronoun of the same sound, loses the o before a* 
vowel, and the consonant is aspirated, thus ; *dh' Albarrin* 
i^^Stikhftitl It is ?ds6 preceded sdAdtimes b j the vowel a 
vfrhenf it follows a final cotfsdnaht 5 as 'dol'a d^ Eirin' go^ 
ittg to Ireland. This a seems to be nothing else than the^ 
yoWsl of 'do* t^anspolscdj just as the' letters of the plro- 
nbUns 'mb> do', are in certain situation!^ transposed, and' 
^befcbme *am'^ ad''. In' this situation, plsrha^is it would be 
advisible to join the ar^ id writing, to the dh thus, 'dbl' 
'adh' Eirin^i Thi^ ivbuld rid us of one superfluous a ap-' 
peeing' as a scparatfe* inexplicable wofd. The saine re- 
iftarks apply to the prepl 'de' ; e. g. *armailt mhftr de' 
* dhabinibh agus erdh'' eachaibh' a gf eat army of men and of 
h^ies^ *laiido^de] reubainn agus a dh^ afngidheachd'^//o/" 


81 ve, and not followed by any other word 5 the voice^ resting on 
the final sound, fonoed a faint articulation. This was represent- 
ed in writing by the gentle aspirate dh; and so the word camc: 
t($ be written as we find it. In like manner *ni h-eadh' is pro- 
bably nothing else than a substitute for ^ni h e' it is nou 

128 er the pabts [Part IL 

ravimng and wickedness^ Luke xi. 39-— 'Do', as has been 
. already observed, often loses the d altogether, and is writ* 
ten a ; as Mol a Dhuneidin' going to EdinpurgA. When 
the preposition is thus robbed of its articulation, and onlj- 
a feeble obscure vowel sound is left, another corruption very: 
naturally follows, and this vowel, as well as the consonant, 
is discarded, not only in speaking, but even in writing ; a& 
^chaidh e Dhuneidin' be went to Edinburgh^ ^chaidh e thir 

* eile' Ae went to another land ; where the nouns appear in- 
their aspirated form, without any word to govern them, 

*Fa' has been improperly confounded with *fuidh* or 'fo*» 
That 'fa' signifies upon^ is manifest from such phrases as ^fa 
^ 'n bhord' upon the hoards said of a dead body stretched up« 
on a board ^ 4eigeadar fa lar' dropped on the groundy Cars- 
well : ^fa 'n adhbhar ud' on that account^ equivalent to 'air 

* an adhbhar ud', see Psal. cvi* 42. and x\v» 2. metr» 

The reason for admitting *iar' after^ has been already 
given in treating of the Compound Tenses of Verbs in 
Chap. V. 

The manner of combining these prepositions with nouns 
will be shown in treating of Syntax. The manner of 
combining them with the personal pronouns most be ex* 
plained in this place, because in that connection they ap« 
pear in a form somewhat different from their radical form. 
A Proper Preposition is joined to a Personal Pronoun, by 
incorporating both into one word ; commonly with some. 
* change on the Preposition, or on the Pronoun, or, on both. 

The following are the Prepositions which admit of this, 
kind of combination, incorporated with the several Personal 



[To face p. 128.] 

3d Per/. 

at tbem^ 








Fo, f^* 























128 er the pabts [Part II. 

ravimng and wickedness^ Luke xi. 39-— 'Da', as has been 
. already observed, often loses the d altogether, and is writ* 
ten ii ; as ^dol a Dhuneidin' going to Edinburgh. When 
the preposition is thus robbed of its articulation, and onlj- 
a feeble obscure vowel sound is left, another corruption very: 
naturally follows, and this vowel, as well as the consonant, 
is discarded, not only in speaking, but even in writing ; a& 
^chaidh e Dhuneidin' he went to Edinburgh^ ^chaidh e thir 
* eile'' Ae went to another land ; where the nouns appear in- 
their aspirated form, without any word to govern them. 

*Fa' has been improperly confounded with *fuidh' or 'fo*.. 
That 'fa' signifies upon^ is manifest from such phrases as ^fa 
^ 'n bhord' upon the boards said of a dead body stretched up- 
on a board > 4eigeadar fa lar' dropped on tie ground^ Cars- 
well : ^fa 'n adhbhar ud' on that account^ equivalent to 'air 
^ an adhbhar ud', see Psal. cvi. 42. and j^lv. 2. metr» 

The reason for admitting *iar' cfter^ has been already 
given in treating of the Compound Tenses of Verbs in 
Chap. V. 

The manner of combining these prepositions with nouns 
will be shown in treating of Syntax. The manner of 
combining them with the personal pronouns most be ex- 
plained in this place, because in that connection they ap« 
pear in a form somewhat different from their radical form. 
A Proper Preposition is joined to a Personal Pronoun, by 
incorporating both into one word ; commonly with some. 
" change on the Preposition, or on the Pronoun, or, on both. 
The following are the Prepositions which admit of this, 
kind of combination, incorporated with the several Personal 

















[To face p. 128.] 

3^ -P^!/'- 


at tbem^ * 














128 er the pabts [Part II. 

ravimng and wickedness^ Luke xi. 39— -'Do', as has been 
. already observed, often loses the d altogether, and is writ* 
ten ii ; as ^dol a Dhuneidin' going to Edis^urgh. When 
the preposition is thus robbed of its articulation, and onlj- 
a feeble obscure vowel sound is left, another corruption very: 
naturally follows, and this vowel, as well as the consonant, 
is discarded, not only in speaking, but even in writing ; a& 
^chaidh e Dhuneidin' he went to Edinburgby ^chaidh e thir 

* eile'* Ae went to another land ; where the nouns appear iiir 
their aspirated form, without any word to govern them. 

*Fa' has been improperly confounded with *fuidh' or 'fo*.. 
That 'fa' signifies upon^ is manifest from such phrases as ^fa 
^ 'n bhord' upon the board, said of a dead body stretched up- 
on a board j 4eigeadar fa lar' dropped on tie ground. Cars- 
well : ^fa 'n adhbhar ud' on that account^ equivalent to 'air 

* an adhbhar ud', see Psal. cvi* 42. and slv. 2. inetr» 

The reason for admitting *iar' after^ has been already 
given in treating of the Compound Tenses of Verbs in 
Chap. V. 

The manner of combining these prepositions with nouns 
will be shown in treating of Syntax. The manner of 
combining them with the personal pronouns most be ex- 
plained in this place, because in that connection they ap« 
pear in a form somewhat different from their radical form* 
A Proper Preposition is joined to a Personal Pronoun, by 
incorporating both into one word ; commonly with some. 
* change on the Preposition, or on the Pronoun, or, on both. 

The following are the Prepositions which admit of this, 
kind of combination, incorporated with the several Personal 



Ai. »^» 






£ Jraibh, 










^ uibh^ 

[To face p. 128*] 

3d Per/. 


at them^ *. 














128 er the pabts [Part II. 

ravimng and wickedness^ Luke xi. 39-— 'Do', as has been 
. already observed, often loses the d altogether, and is writ* 
ten ii ; as ^dol a Dhuneidin' going to Edin^urgA. When 
the preposition is thus robbed of its articulation, and onlj- 
a feeble obscure vowel sound is left, another corruption very 
naturally follows, and this vowel, as well as the consonant, 
is discarded, not only in speaking, but even in writing ; a& 
^chaidh e Dhuneidin' he went to Edinburgh^ ^chaidh e thir 
* eile' Ae went to another land ; where the nouns appear in- 
their aspirated form, without any word to govern them. 

*Fa' has been improperly confounded with *fuidh* or 'fo*.. 
That 'fa' signifies upon^ is manifest from such phrases as ^fa 
^ 'n bhord' upon the boards said of a dead body stretched up* 
on a board > 4eigeadar fa lar' dropped on tie ground^ Cars- 
well : ^fa 'n adhbhar ud' on that account^ equivalent to 'air 
^ an adhbhar ud', see Psal. cvi* 42. and j^lv. 2. inetr* 

The reason for admitting *iar' qftery has been already 
given in treating of the Compound Tenses of Verbs in 
Chap. V. 

The manner of combining these prepositions with nouns 
will be shown in treating of Syntax. The manner of 
combining them with the personal pronouns most be ex- 
plained in this place, because in that connection they ap« 
pear in a form somewhat different from their radical form* 
A Proper Preposition is joined to a Personal Pronoun, by 
incorporating both into one word ; commonly with some. 
* change on the Preposition, or on the Pronoun, or, on both. 
The following are the Prepositions which admit of this, 
kind of combination, incorporated with the several Personal 



Aij '^» 

\roJactp. 128»] 

0/ thaHi 































128 6F THE PABTS [Part IL 

ravimng and wickedness^ Luke xi. 3Q-— >'Do'y as has been 
. already observed, often loses the d altogether, and is writ- 
ten a; 2S ^dol a Dhuneidin* going to Edinhurgh. When 
the preposition is thus robbed of its articulation, and onljr 
a feeble obscure vowel sound is left, another corruption veiy 
naturallj follows, and this vowel, as well as the consonant, 
is discarded, not only in speaking, but even in writing ; a& 
'chaidh e Dhuneidin' he went to Edinburgh^ ^chaidh e thir 

* eile'* he went to another land ; where the nouns appear in 
their aspirated form, without any word to govern them. 

*Fa' has been improperly confounded with *fuidh* or 'fo'.. 
That *fa' signifies upon^ is manifest from such phrases as *fa 
^ 'n bhord' upon the boards said of a dead body stretched up- 
on a board ^ *leigeadar fa lar* dropped on tie ground^ Cars- 
well : ^fa ^n adhbhar ud' on that account^ equivalent to 'air 

* an adhbhar ud\ see Psal. cvi. 42. and J^lv. 2. metr» 

The reason for admitting ^ar' qfter^ has been already 
given in treating of the Compound Tenses of Verbs in 
Chap. V. 

The manner of combining these prepositions with nouns 
will be shown in treating of Syntax. The manner of 
combining them with the personal pronouns must be ex-^ 
plained in this place, because in that connection they ap« 
pear in a form somewhat different from their radical form. 
A Proper Preposition is joined to a Personal Pronoun, by 
incorporating both into one word ; conmionly with some. 
" ehange on the Preposition, or on the Pronoun, or^ on both. 

The following are the Prepositions which admit of this 
kind of combination, incorporated with the several Personal 

















[To face p. 12&.] 

at tbem^ 












Pki'trll.] orapEBCK. 129 

limoftf €£ tbefe cooipotindHtennsy tbo fragiteitstp^ thp*; 
Pronouns which enter intp their tompoGtioq% efpdcndlyt 
thofe/ of. the . fidt and . liecond * Pcrfons^:. ars .veSry. iccmipku- 
ous (it)«X Thefe fragiofen^tajtetaftcr tfan^ ocf a$OTrfHy«thei 
esQ|>hatic fjfllabte^ M'/^p^^^^ in the fsuno cnaiinec as the 
Qll^naL: Pronouns, Ihcmfi^vlssr'do; as ^gasda: j/ M^\ 
*aigefan at HIM, 'uzinnefrom US. • ... Jl: .'• -^ 

-i The twqFrepofition$*'de^d.Wib^Iong:b0ea.G^ 
founded, together, both bet^'Wrktenf.fda.^:'. It jCfui hardl^^ 
be fiipgofed that .the eonE^pofite . werdi; ^dhiorn^: <&iot% &ci.: 
wotddrfaare beeadiAiQgidihed'frQm 'dbbqil^dbtut^ &c« I^^ 
onbdgn^hjr^ proQunciiitibD» - and figQificafci<m ^ if fhe JPio^j 
pofitioi^f. as treU aa tbe'^rokiiouos^ rwhich. enter into the* 
compdfitioa of thefe ii^ords, hiad beenjtOrigifiaUjr the iame*'^ 
In ^dhiom i .&c. the initial Confoaa^t is always jbUeeired bjr" 
a-fmall Vowel. In Mhomh'> x&c. .inith one qLccf^tion, it ii^^ 
followed by a broad V0.w^'«— «Henoe it is piperumable thstv 
the. Prepofition which is. the. root of .Mhiom^ ^c* mufl: 
have had a fmaU Vowel, after di whei«a» the root ofi 


^dhomhV &c. has a broad Vowd d&er iLh^fI>c: is a prepo- 
lition preferved in Latin^ (a language -iwhick has snany . 
xnsirks of affinity witb .die : Gaelic^) . in the fame, fenfe . 
Mrhich muft/have belonged io the noot cf I'dhioite!^ &c ini ^ 
Gaelic. The Prepofition in queftion itfelf occurs laLrifha . 
in the name given to a O>lony which is fuppofed to have 
fettled in Ireland, a. m. 2540,* called ^MViath de Danann'. 
See Lh. Arch, Brit. Tit. x. voc, Tuath ; alfo Mi/s Brookes 
Reliques of Iri^ Pottry-y p., loa. Thefe iafts afford more, 
than a prefumption that the true root of the Compafite 
*dhiom', &c. is Me', and that it fighifies of, * It ^as thcre^r' 

.' .' . . :.. ' • . . fore\ 

. • . ■> ^ 

(h) This mode of incorporating the Prepositidils with *tKc * 
personal pronouns will remind the orientalist' of. the Ptonetttnid 
Affixes, common in Hebrew and other Eastern languages. The 
close resemblance between the Gaelic and many of the Asiatic 
tongues, in this particular, is of itsel£an,.ahQQSt ccuiclusive proof 
that the Gaelic. bears a much closer affif^ty tojke parent stocij^ ■' 
than any other living European langiiagc. • 

l$a OF TioE Vkws [part IL 

(mis ifpii$0tii foiptr to fcpat^ 
t^'oadkits j yp mpiqa i y mcaaipg' ^^tj^ 

' 'fiplioiiii : Aiot^y &c. ondi 'dhomk, dhuit*, &c. atfr wvb* 
teat "mUk'tk^iaiMjd^uBMr n Liflfoftl ; MUvnt doiiik\ &c* • 

* 'Eadar^: b not ucas^rated witk t)M proMniiis o£ tjhe 
fiiqpdar muiaber,^ but wsittm ft^NDrstslf v ^eadfar inis* agn^* 
^ ^vSi tetwan me and Ai$. 

b csnttioiiig ^ wd ^hui- wxth tlio pionpons^ the ktiers 
of die PfcqpoftioBS fiiffor « tnusj^podtidn^and ane imtte» ly, 
f/ar» iWlfermer itf'tiicft wa9>loi)g writisen witb^iiipfdb^ 
e^^i thus ^ihugaoiV^^* The trenfialMM of the ftr^toiss^ 
oMnftriiig that «fr neither oofpe^adisdi to tlife proipttqcialkni^ 
notrnnule p«rt of dMrradml Piiepoik)ofl> CMhanqgod; it: fiir 
/^> and n^oii^^ ^tivagam^*' 'Ebe ri&, being no more tluin a 
fiiapk ^SfmMJxmj correQ^OKdli inH^edto die cdmauniinefde 
of {nroaona^ang: tilt irapd. Yet in may tvell be queflSoned 
idietfaer tfac f, even dioagb* W^irated, oughi tie have »^ 
phc^ if j^ be the only medical conibnant belon|png to^ tbe 
Fl^pofitson:. : ^ Th« oomponeat ]Kirt3 of the nord might be 
<>xh8bitecl mth' fcfrdl^ttii^ aadr tbe coaimoB prooaocfatioiiy 
(whcdier ooiie^ #r apt^): aUb reprefented^ b^^ retatakpg the 
h ahme^ aad conne^^g it with the Fvepefition^ bf » hf- 
phen, as wbw written befoi^ a ^oun^ thus *b»iigam, h^ 

Itxiptopep Prepofitions; 

Ail cheam ; atXihel tmi^ agaisift a certain txme« 

Air'fcyiH ^j ?' 

Mrhd' \ ^^^^i^^^» during. 

Air muio ; on tie baci, mounted on. 
Air fgath *, for the iak^^ on pretence. 
Air foa; on account* 


(I) *^ In corroboration of this (Mr S.'s) hypothesis, I have 
'< Seqnently net de in old MSS. I have therefore adopted it 
** Ml its proper place." £• O'C.'s Graunmar of the Irish Gaelic. • 
Dublin, 1808. 

FartiL] .Msrafics. dSI 

Airtoir; inpurfuit* ; ; i.\ 

Airbeulaobh; mtbefinjidijhd^otc^ , .r .. 

Air calaobh ; on the Imkjldif b^biad. -^ 

Am fochair^ m-prefima. 

Am meafg ; in the mixture^ amidfty lunong. ^ , ^ 

An aghaidh, in theface^ agakft; Uk ^ppofition* 

An ceann ; in the end, at the expiratkm. 

An comhsul^ 1 . ^. . ^ 
4 • • 1. y tn immng. to meet. 
An comnimh ; j ^ 

A iMik' r^^^^/5»/, near to, hard by, 

An iftil ; 10 !& rencounter, to JoeeU 
An dunght ] 

An ^e9gliaidh> fan dcircaJBi ; | ^ 1^ cr. 

An deit^ J 

An en:, in iiei»n» in reqoital. 

Am fianuts, ) • r ' 

Aniorg ; dn tie trad, in conicqnenoe. 

As ieth^ in hthsif, lor «the fake. 

A los ; in order to, vhh the intention of. 

Car; during. 

Do bhrigh, a ibhrigh :; hy virtue^ becanfe. 

Do chbir, a tshoir, u the pnefensey Aear» trnpfyxsg onotion. 

Do chum, a chum (m):^ to^ towards, in order to» 


T%. » J^ '^ rioT want 

Dh eafldmidh^ f 

•Db* f hi«s ; t9 the hmtJedge^ to. 

Dh' ionnfuidhi to the approach^ or onfet^ toward. 

Do reir, a reir ; according to. 

Oo thaobk, a thaobh J m ihe^ i4th reTpe^, ^cmcemmg. 


(m) Ja 9iaiy]!laGe8,4lus Beep, is ptonottoced 'hunV « 

182 Oir THBTAATS [l^ixtilL 

:. ' 

Fa chuis ; by reafon> becaufe* 
Fachomhair; oppofite. ■ j' <- \ -, ' : .' . ?.^ -^ 

Mu choinnimh ; oppolke^' oVcr aguaft; -. •' '^' '- - •' ' 

Mu thimchoill, timchioU ; by the ciremif around* >: ^ . 

0\>)oMr^hhirr \ from the 44^^qS' , » 

Os ceann ; ontb^'fkpi^v^x^ve^M3lf• - ■ '-• >. . :' 

Re ; duration^ during* '• * M :.. . n - :;, 

Tareis; after fn). / -; • 

Trid; through^ by means. i , . 

It is evident, from infpeAion, 'that altnoft all ^hefe'IiA* 
proper Prepoiitions are <coiiipouncled ; and connpr^hohd, . ^ 
one of their component parts, a Noun, which is foreceded 
by a fimple or P^oper.Pre^fitibn^'like tbte EnglLG^i on^v- 
count^ with refpe8y &c. T{ie mrds'-'ceanii, agliajdyb, Jor^ 

* barr, taobh, &c. are known to be real No^ns, bec^nfii th^ 
are employed in that capacity.'ia other conoeAions^ as vcU 
as in the pbrafes here enumerated. The ^e i» 
clear with regard to 'fbn, cum or cun/reV^ ^rbicb occiir 
only in the above phn^es ; but it iis probahlieL that; XbaSk Ut 
nouns likewife, and that, when combined witfi fimpk t^repoA- 
tions, they conftitute phrafes of preci(ely the fame ficu6hife 
with the reft of the foregoing lift (^•jk-r—'Comhair* is pro- 
bably 'comh-aire' muiuai attehtion."^^^DaJJL and ^coirV in* the 
fenfe of proximity, are found in their compounds 'coix^hdh* 

* air and 'fochair' Xh choir.]— ^'Toir*, in like manner^ in 
its derivative *t6ircachd% tig m& ^ purfmng^^^^iyhL ihSM 
to, the knowledge f muft have been originally applied to per- 
fons only. So it is ufed in many Gaelic ibngs : ^beir mo 
^ fhoiridh le durachd dh* f hios na cailmn', &c. bear my giod 
nvi/bes with cordiality to the knotoJedge. of the maiiff &c. i^ e. 

• . ' 1 prefent 

.' » ■ ^ • 

' (n) Tar ^is^ oi^ the track or Ibot^tepw See 0*fixien^s Ir. 
J}ict. voc. eb. 

(o) On consulting O'Brien's Ir. Diet, we find *son' transia* 
ted projiti ad'iiantage^ *ciun' a Jight, fomhat^ *reir' wi//, desire^ 
t'rom these significatioits, the eommbn nieatuA^ of *air sMi, do 

* chumi do r^ir'i may perhaps be derived without much Vioknce« 

f^njint fiiylffeBkmtir regards J &c* This .a ppr op iia t ^ tnoAr 

ingn^and ufe. of the phiafe came by c^ijees to be orolool^* 

«d; ailid it wa?- emplo]red, pron^ifctxDufl ^do chum' 

iaixl:^Ui- ionnfudhVtoiigmfy w/i/d inyalmore general iinfli. 

If this analyfis of the expreflioti be ^ift^ . then ^ghios':(j^;) 

muft be deemed only a different^ and a corrupt manner of 

^writmg Mh? f faiov^ < : ., ^ . 

t \Iii^> the inq>roper prepofition ^oi 'ceann', the noun has al- 

'itioft<always beta iii^flittcnidoiui'« Yet in. all other fitttir 

'tionsy thBiiaqK notin i» mnfioRtily written 'ceann'. Whenoe 

;lia»^iuri&n> this d^erfity in the ovthogn^y of a iimple niu^ 

-nofyllable ? And is it maintained* appa juft grounds ?— it 

muft have proceeded either from a perfuafion that there are 

two diftinft nouns fignifying ^^'one of which is to be writ« 

vtqpi ^ceanti'9 a^ the pfcher *aioaan(q') ; or from an dpinita 

that, granting the two words to be the fame individual 

''^noun, yet it .is jpibper'to diftin|j;uifti its meaning when ufed 

m tl^ eapacity ofa prepofition^ from its meaning in other 

fituations, by fpelling it in different ways. I know of no 

good argument in fupport of the former of thefe two opi* 

— Bions; not h2A [it.-.pcpbably bMD evet maintained* The 

lafftdr opinion^^whlcfafeems to be the real one, is founded 

~ «i . a ' prfaiciplc iubveffive of; thef taalogy and ftability of 

iqritten langualge> .n^ely,' that theiyarious fignifications of 

r the fame word ^ure to be ,4iftinguiihc4 in writing, by chan- 

- ging its 'lettersv the :eonftituent dements of the word* The 

^ variation in queftion, iAftead of ferving to point out the 

meaning of a' word, or jphraie in one place> frt>m its known 

. ineaning in another connexion, tends dire£ily to diiguife it ; 

and to. miflead the reader into a belief, that the words, 

'Which are thus prefented to him under difierent forms, are 



■ - > ■ « 

'. -(f) See Gaelic Poems published by Dr Smith, pp. 8,9, 
,110,291. ■ . ^ 

- (qJ^Thtxt is. in Gaelic a Noun 'cion* <»: *cicmn% ngnifyiog 
-'CaHMtf/ which occurs in the expressioQS 'a chionn gu^.i^nKf^ 
.«faMv ^onrftth' areastm at grmtA But Uiis word is entirely 

]3i op THE r ABTs [JPaxt 11 

qdkaUjr tf>d c rffrnrh d ly difli ar cui . If Ac -fine 
fi0 been cBoglaftd to dciicitt .fiurcuA ithbigi ilmc^hil 
^ifeeiitAxsi cxiiQtkaEt Ihit Amliftto laeaiis tnpett« 
fjbaatt mfon vliy tbe wntcn tif the kngw^ fliwlA 
0uke «iiianf wordb of one/r^« 

The ufe of the proper Prep^itiotu has been iheftdy Awmi 
4b Ike imw|MfftT^y* of idiottaial {At9fis,«id^ the m^i/ioper 
I^if^tmmi Tbe filowing csittiipki Aow the £0(her ufe 
«f them in cGii&e£ttoii with NoanaBd Verfai, andwAne 
jdiomitic cxpefions which do aot>fan}» admit ^ Wag 
fiteralljr Kfidcisd ia £ii^iflu 

Aft aig. 
ift; ^g an doras' at At Atn *m% n ti^* at fbe infli, 

^ home. 
My "rmfim rf: *m% ro mbeud \u^ir 's « ftpfaus* by rufm if 

its ^4m jof 4md jaAsf§amm\ Snnth'i •&»m <AyM> p. 9* 



^r^ Some ccmfiiaMiD lial bitem IntMdficed iiitD tbe G tamw g 
^tlie Latin langoagcy bj nopofiag dtfftfent craaHMtkal -iumiics 
•on weeds, accordiiig !• the connoction in which tkcgr stood, whilt 

•n AdYcrh. An expedient w8Btinii|jbt nqibitelor distinfMiik- 
ing, in such insUmoeii the one pivt of spoech fcom tbe other. 
Accordingly an accent, or some such maik, wns, in writing or 
printing placed over the last vowel df tlie word, when employ- 
ed in what was reclmned its seccmdarry use ; whilei in its printt- 
ry <«Be, it was written witkoitt sn j dittinguidiing aaarfc. So "die 
oox^unctien 'qu6d'* waa ditttngiusbed i^m the iwktive *^nod'| 
and the adverb 'p6st^ from the preposition *post^. The distinc* 
tion was erroneous*, but the expedient employed to mark it was, at 
least, harmless. The word was left unaltered and undisguised \ and 
thm sacoeeding gtammaiiant JuUl itifae more in their power Xh 
prove that the relative 'quod* and the conjunction ^^pMd^-nae^ 
«nd 4ia<re ev«»r b«en, in teiility<, one atfdlhevaiBe |NBit tyf ^aech^ 
ffwould \sw% been jostly thought « hold md i mtmul iahie 
ttcin, liad Irhe older gnuaimMons goneioior aa to-aHerftho IstMrs 
of the word, in order to mai^k a djMisdMNi <tf theit^nm garottibmi 

BirtUi] q:b9i^isch, i^ 


bouuv. 2. metr, yctt^ ^ liMixdiftiraKbd'. PfaL 

....'■ jdfc j^ .'*.■ . 

Signifying pofleffion : 'tha tuill aig M fioteaidb'^ the foxes 
. ^^xsic Mtf) fbhtf ais diiber ar^dh^itlkit »W<r 

Imfemt Atbm;k^ei9f^ l4k mirkuffti^ 
Khsidh agiixft. air' / Anv preufgHtd mm UnK f&i. xiii. 4. 

Joined to the Infinitive of Verbs :. ^ intadiA' ^vwlkutgt 

Qn^ UfMMi : ^«lc an Ur' #1 tJkgfwmd ;. *ak aa 1^ fin* en that 
ib/^ -air an adU^kar fin! ^ /An^ sccmwi, foet til^ 

Oeaoling daio^ of diibt 1 ioe dbomh na Uieil agam ort' 
pay me vih§st then wuflt tmw Malkt. xviti. 28. *cia 
^iDe«d aU.^9 mo tfaigbeam octfii V hvm nmchemx^ 
thou trntlt- nv^ kxi f Luk. %yu 57. (f) 4 

Oenoting am oath: ^ais m! Chocal' upm mj. wwd; 'air 


' (f y TKoa&> this ost «f the lumosiUoa air arises the eqmviiqitif 

so humorously turned against Mr James Macphei:son by Mac- 

codrum the poet, as related in the B.epoirt of the Committee of 

the Highland Society of Scotland on the anthenttdty of Osm 

Slants Poems, Append. p« ftS. NEacpharsoia asked Maccodrum» 

^ A« bheil dad agad air an Fh^im ?'* l^rally^ ^ Have you 

*^a&y thifig oa the fingalians ?^' intending ta inquire whether 

the latter had any poems in his possession on the subjiect of the 

fingalian history and exploits. The expression partakes much 

QKMeof the Knglish than of the Graalic idiom, indeed it can 

httdfy ba imderslood in GaeUc, in the some that the (Querist 

jBt^nded. Maccodrum, catching up the expression in its true 

G.adip acceptation, answered, with affected surprise, ''< Bheil 

^ isA agam air an Fh^inn ? Ma bha dad riamh again orra, is 

^-AidothatH mi im coinchean.'* ^ Have 1 any claim on the 

<<- JPiiigaliansi If eter I had, it is long sinca IloaliDy vouchers/* 

l'!n orTifBrAftTs [JPaitlt. 

iwiiiriiii iiilirnlly niii nfTmrinlly liiflfhrmt If dae .fimr 
mod im i»ea omplofed to denote .ibreadithnigi Aaanriut 
SShKOtircmx cxii«l!kaE» ckit Aon !bf too i»eans4iK)CBr« 
lUBeient istfon wlqr the vntcn ;of the kngw^ AmU 
\iaaike m mwf ivonb of one/r^. . f 

. ', . ■ • • _ ■ . 

The life of the pftfper Prepofittani has been thttidy Aiiiiiit 
jft the owpuflu cyi of idfqrhiil pheafa, ^wadoi the m^fikper 
^ftni^o/iiimT^ Tbe fiDowing csiuiipkii Aow the fiiHber ii& 
«f tfaem in coBiie£tioii with NoonaBd Viorfaiy and ja fumm 
i^mndac expefiepn whieh do aot^NpayiiaddutHtif Mng 
SteraUy icAdeiod ia£ngizfli« 

Aft aig. 
jefr: ^g an jdom Af Air idWi *mg an t%k' Af f£r hnifrt 

j9j^ !rr^ of: ^ ro ndKwl al^ir 's «.A[pfaus* hy nstfm igf 

• ■ ^ 

^TO -SdM omAiBMPii h^ ^tfh vatradactd intD tbB Gecsmaer 
laf toe Latin langvutge, bj iaipMiag d^RBtent crwauitkal -nnaiei 
•on ^tvocds^ accordicig !• the connoctioa in whioa tkcgr stood, whila 
they retaiacd their form and their ^gnification unchanged: as 
in catl^i^g'^quecT at 6h^ tinSe a itelati^e^l^tfnouny 'at'aiiDtSer time 
a*T>(nijimokion > '*^t^ ih ^ne aieiMtion ^ ArepMiiliony hk-mmAMt^ 
wt AdYcrh. Anvxptdient !vaBtinii|jbt n^dsitelardistinfvM 
ofig, in such iafitanoe% the one pivt of ^paech £com the other. 
Accordingly an accent, or some such maik^ wis, in wridnff or 
prin^n^ j)laced over the last vowel df the word, when €mpIo;^« 
ed in imrat was recfkoned its secotidarry use'; W1i%, in its prifBt- 
rj «ose, ^ was 'written witkoitt any dittingo^ng aaark. So ^i» 
^oox^imctitn 'qu6d'* waa difttiy^uisbed irom the relative *^tiod*} 
and ithe adverb ^p6st^ from the preposition *p6st\ The distinc* 
tion was erroneous \ but the expedient employed to mark it was, at 
least, harmless. The word was left unaltered and undisguised 5 and 
lihns satoeedivig gtamttnamM liad it ifae tnom 4n thnr power to 
prove that the relative 'quod* and the conjunction ^^pMd**aae^ 
and iha^ve evfsr b«dn, la it€iitity<, one aald libe aame pod taff ^flech« 
ft^would have beon jvstlyttought « %oid and imarvnivfedblo 
*«0p, ^ad the older gwaimriiMis (one lo-fiv a» tojdter ttte IfittOrs 
<^ the word, in order to matk a ditflisdMBa <tf ifaeit^amgaroeiM^ 

^ mcmi %, mhitmxi^ tbmi^^ uHinfet i^n^ Pfal. 
bouuv. 2. metr. Terfx ^ig^ liMoUMMfesKbd'. Pfid. 

Signifying pofleffion : ^tha tuill aig m fioikiuich' the fixes 
■■■:. lanf hfkt'f ^bhtf »( dnbei vr^dh diUkia »W <r 

Imve^mt Atlmu;k^e'9fi^ i4k ^^ 
HSkaidb agiixft. ^' / iawt profgHtd mm UnK ffd. xiii. 4. 

Joined to the Infinitive of Verbs :. ^ intadidr 4-fMsiStJ/^, 


Qnt UfMMi : ^^ m Ur* #1 tb^gwmd i *aw m 1^ fin* ^n /J^^if 
ib/^ '«ir an iadU^kar fin! ^ /An^ «mi^i«I» fott dkt 

Denoting claiA of i»H 1 ioe cttionih na Uieil agam ort' 
pay me njeh&t thm w»fit tmw Malkt. xviti. 28. ^cia 
^iDe«d aU.^9 mo tfaigbeam octfa V h(W timchetm^ 
thou tMffr my hied f hvk^ ^y'u 57. (s) 4 

Denoting am oath: ^ais m! thecal' upm my. mford; 'air 
.. ' laimh 

. {ij Tko»> this osa af the |umosiUon air surises the eqmv^qme 

so humorously turned against Mr James Macpherson by Mac- 

codrum the poet, as related in the {Lepojt of the Committee of 

tke Highland Society of Scotland on the authenticity' of Oi* 

siaa's Poems, Append. p« 05* NEacpharsoa asked Maccodrum^ 

^ A«a bheil dad npA air an Fb^ioa ?-'* l^rally^ ^ Have you 

^WJ thing ou the ringalians?^' intending to inquire whether 

the latter had any poems in his possession on the subject of the 

Ungalian history and exploits. The expression partakes much 

SMMe of the English than of the Gaalic idiom. Indeed it can 

1 haxdfy ba imderslood in GaeUc, in the seme that the {Querist 

' iaMmdad. Maccodrum, catching up the expression in its true 

Gaalip acceptation, answered, with affected surprise, ''< Bheil 

■ ^ iad agam air an Fh^inn ? Ma bha dad riamh agan} orra, is 

'*^<AuI^o 'chain mi na c^richean.'* ^ Have 1 an^ chum on the 

*' JPIiigalians > If ever I had, it is long since II09I1D7 vouchers/* 


l'!n or TIfB r AftTS [JPlilt II. 

iwiiifiliii nilirnlly niii nfTmrinlly liiflfhrmt If dae fimr 
mod im i»ea omplofed to denote :fi:veadithnigi fomnriut 
difoent jfroni cxii«l!kaE» tfait Aon lif too i»eans4iK)CBr« 
Afieient istfon wlsf the vntcn cof the kngw^ ^mM 
4nskt mmmf ivonb of am:(rj. 

The ufe of tht proper Prep^itions has been thttidy Aiiiiiit 
4i the oiM q paflU c^ rf^dfothfad phrafa,JttK^ 
^ftnpo/iiimT^ Tbe fiBowing csiuiipki Aow die ibvAer ii& 
«f tfaem in coaneftioii with NioanaBd VinrlBi and ja lune 
-idiomnttic cxpefions whkh do aot^afanj* addutntif Mng 
fiteraUy icAdeiod in fin^iflu 

Afr aig. 
jft; ^g an idom Af Air Amrs *mg n t%k' Af ibe hnifrt 

My ^mefin of: ^lig ro ndKwl ai^ir 's « ft^fads* iy ra^ ijf 
Us 'gtitKt joy cand faikfdOMms Snoth't i&wm Avsa^ p. 9. 

^r^ -SdM omAiBMPii liai hitem «iitti#dttctd bib tin GecsmMff 
^ihe Latin langoage, bj impMiag ^fetent crawnatioBl -iumms 
>on wocds, accordicig !• the connoctioa in wlnoa tkcy stood, whil« 

Anvxptdient w»lteii|jfae ttqmitelor distbf«jili« 
41^, in such iB6Umoe% the one pivt of .^pocch £com the other. 
Accoidiogly an accent, or some such maik, wis, in wridnff or 
printing j)ltced over the last vowel df the word, when «mplo;f« 
ed in imrat was Tednmed its seccmdarty use y WliSe, in lb prifBt- 
-ry m^y it was written withoitt snj dittiAgoLdiiiig laark. So ^iagt 
«ox^iiiictien 'quM'* w«» dittii^ruidted irom the relative *^tiod*} 
and |the adverb ^p6st^ from the preposition *post\ The distinc* 
tion was erroneous \ but the expedient employed to mark it was, at 
least, harmless. The word was left unaltered and undisguised \ ixA 
lihos satoeoding gtaxmnamnt lud itifae momin thnr power to 
prove that the relative 'quod* and the conjunction ^^pMd*>cie^ 
«nd iha^re ev<sr b«dh, la veiitity, one oadlibe «aiM pot bf IQMlDch* 
ft ^would hav« been j«stly ttought « %oid snd imwvrimvfedblo 
ttdt^, ^ad the older gnonmeiMiB (one io.&r a» to-aftter dfae IfittOrs 
<^ the word, in order to matk a djMisdMNi ^"^^'^^nTn '^— rtrn. 

BairtlJi] qj? 9Pi:;f:cfiu 194 

Ixzxiv. 2. metr. veri; %^ Ugombriyeacbd*. Pfal. 

Sxgmfying pofleffion : *tha tuill aig m fioteaidb' the fixes 
lave b$kti ^hhA dig, dnbei vr^dh diUkU »W <r 

KSx^idb sgiixft. air' / Anv prawitd .mm UnK 96t. xiii. 4. 
Joined to the Infinitive of Verbs :. 'ag* intadiA' orvwlkutgt 

On^ UfMMi I *dix m Ik^ #f tJkgfwmd ;. 'aiv m 1^ fin* ^n /)^<if 
lb/; '«ir «n adU^kar fin om tht sccmwi, fiet Aat 
rufife>^ . 

Denoting daio^ of diibt : ioe cttionih na Uieil agam ort' 
/0y ifie whea thm 9iUKflt tne* iSakU xviti. 28. ^cia 
^meigd lU.^g mo tfaigbeam octft ?' i^^v^ timchetm^ 
thm tmti^my^ hicdf Luk. ^y'u 57. f ^^ 4 

SenolinK w oath: ^aiK m! £hocal' h^ wj. mford; 'air 


, (f y Tkovo- this as« «f the pccposition air arises the equvodqiae 
10 humorously turned against Mr James Macpherson by Mac- 
codrum the poet, as related in the Report of the Committee of 
the Highland Society of Scotland on the authenticity of Os« 
sxan's Poems, Append. p« d5* NEocpherson asked Maccodrum» 
^ A«a bheil dad a^d air an Fh^inn ?•'* l^rally^ ^ Have you 
*^ any thing on the ringalians?^' intending to inquire whether 
the latter had any poems in his possession on the subject of the 
fingalian history and exploits. The expression partakes much 
mete of the English than of the Grielic idiom. Indeed it can 
haxdfy. be imderstood in Gaelic, in the seme that the (Querist 
inftended. Maccodrum, catching up the expression in its true 
GjmUp acceptation, answered, with affected surprise, ^< Bheil 
> ^ jad agam air an Fh^inn ? Ma bha dad riamh agani orra, is 
''-ihd othaiH mi im c^chean.'* ^ Have 1 an^ claim on the 
**- JRkjalians } If ever I had, it is long since I lost my vouchers.^* 

im orTifBrAftTs [JPaxtlt. 

iwiiiriiii nrikaUf atid cfibitiattf tMSMnt. If Ae -Qtm 
mod im been ompkpfed to denote :feveadithnigi fomnriut 
difloKUt 4froai cxii stkoE^ tint Aon li^tao m ea ns 4i|q>cat« 
Afirient Tstfon wlsf tbe vntcn cof the kngw^ 'AmM 
4nskt -m mvof uronis of one/r^. 

The ufe of the pnfer Prepofithms has ben alttidy Aiiiiiit 
4i the osnpofidcyi of vdforbial phflafiBS, ouul of the m^^ioper 
^ftnipo/iiimT^ Tbe fiDowing csiuiipki Aow ^tfae AivCher ufe 
«f sfaem in comiefttcm with Nioanasid Viorfasy and :ia lune 
jdiomaric expefiens whkh do aot>fan}» addutntif Mng 
CteraUy 4«Admd in £D^iflu 

Afr aig. 
Ai: ^g an dom at Ai Amrj *mg an ti^' at fie ht^fr. 

My rmfm of: ^»g ro ndKwl ai^ir 's « ft^fads* igr ^a^m ijf 
Air fTMJgt jof cand fa^dOims Smith'il Auam Ana^ p. 9. 

^r) SdM emAiBMPii hiik hitem mtradiictd intD tbB GecsmMDr 
laf the Latin langvutge, bj laipotiag ^fetent mvouitiOBl •omms 
>on wocds, accordicig !• the coiuioction in wluoa tk^ stood, whils 
thc7 retained their form and their signification unchanged; as 
in callii^g'^^ued* at ohe tinSe a K.elati^e l^tfnoun, -ailixisymer time 
%'GmijutioUon-) "^ost^ ki «ne sitwition % AreffMiiion, in^Mn^Mr^ 
wt AdYorh. Anvxptdknt «r»lfasQ|jfae «<|idsite|ar distbgvijili- 
wg^ in such iafitanoe% the one pivt of spoech £com tbe other. 
Accordingly an accent, or some such mask, wis, in writing or 
printing, j)laced over the last vowel df the word, when emplo;^« 
ed in what was redkoned fts seccmdaty use| whiky in jb priiBft- 
Tjf «0e, it was written without wkj disdnguidiing aaark. So ^Ifst 
^oox^u&ctien 'quM'* was dittin^sbed irom the i>elati«e *^nod*) 
and ;the adverb 'p6st^ from the preposition *post*. The distinc* 
tion was erroneous^ but the expedient employed to mark it was, at 
least, harmless. The word was left unaltered and undisguised \ ixA 
thus satoeoding gtammafiafis Jud itifae tnomin tbne power to 
prove that the relative 'quod* and the conjunction ^^prad*«aas^ 
«nd iha<re €vet bedo, In tebtity, one otfdlibe vame fand bf ^aech^ 
ftivould ha^ -beon j«stly thought « %oid and imsMmvtdble 
it0p, ^ad the older gnusimaiMis goneio.fiv as to -alter tthe IsttOrs 
<d Aie word, in order to matk a diiitisclMNi ^^iBBfkitw$ft^^ns0Smbm 

Birt Hi] QS 9Pi:.CGH. I9j 

Sigi mcmi a giUttAA' ^6n»/^ tnienfe. ifire^ Pfsd. 

Luuuv. 2. metr. verC, ^ UmaibAiraKbd'. Pfal. 

... ." :riii J. .■ '. . 

Sigi^ing pofleffion: 'tha tuiU «g m fioimaich' the fixes 

. i^fK Mttf; ^bhtf ai^ dnin& araidh ditlkU sW^r 

. AcrAwi; iwm iM tif^fau.V ^cha l^'ei) fhiot agam' / 

Imft- mt tkii bmvUgeiff M$ liimiiftcfitit* 

HSbaidEb agitm. air' / kavtt pireuM^ .mm hiti^ Vfid. xiii. 4. 

nustc* vcrf... 
Joined to the Infinitive of Verbs :. ^ag* inticfaA' orwalUftgt 

On^ 11IMMI t ^wwi V^ m thgtwmd ;. *dk aa 1^ fin' on thai 
ioifi 'air aa adUi^llar fia cm /ito ^ccmwi, fi$t dlat 

XlcnoA^g daiia of islbt 1 ^ioe dbomh na bbeil agam ort' 
pay me what thm wiefl^ me* Matt, xvtii. 28. ^cia 
*flaeiftd aU,^g mo tfaighaaiiit octfa V hv> fimcb mmfi 
thm tMfi^ m^ l»df Luk. ikv'U 57. (s) 4 

Oenoftig an oalk: *aiv m' fhcnrar upon, mj. word; *air 
..." laimh 

(f y Tsom- tliis ost of the jumosition air arises tbe eqmvdque 
so humorously turned against Mr James Macphersou by Mac- 
codrum the poet, as related in the Eepoft of the Committee of 
the Highland Society of Scotland on the authenticity of Os- 
sia&'s Poems, Append. p« $5. Macpharsoa asked Maccodrum» 
^ ikm bheil dad agad air an Fh^inn V* litarally^ ^ Have ypu 
*^ ai^7 thitig on the Fingalians V^ intending ta inquire whether 
the latter had any poems in his possession on the subject of the 
fingalian history and exploits. The exnresslon partakes much 
mq y e rfthe English than of the Gaalic idiom. Indeed it can 
[ baidljr ba understood in Gaelic, in the sonsa that the {Querist 
' intended. Maccodnua, catching up the expression in its true 
G.aoUp acceptation, answered, with affected surprise, '< fiheil 
^ isIA agam air an Fh^inn ? Ma bha dad riamh again orra, is 
^' Aid o 'chain mi im c^irichean.'^ ^ Have 1 any claim on the 
^- Bftgalians } If ever I had, it is long since I lostinji vouchers/* 


13ft or THB r AftTs [Pait II. 

itmnfdmB nriktUf atid ofliEkitjrilf tbffisrait. If die -fins 
moiA im teen am^oycd to denote .ibveodithbigi fonewhit 
difloKut frouk cadi BtiBMr> Aat does ly^tiio iMe i ns ifipott* t 
lofirient ntfon why the wntsrs xof the hmgaagt AmM 
^nAt wmany wonfa of mufrj. 

The life of the firt^ Prep^itums has been tlietdj Aiiwt 
4r the OB B yaflU caa of vdverhiil phcafisi and of the m^nfer 
nitnj^^lGftiwj; The following eaaixiplct 4iow die AiKher ufe 
^ tfaem in coaneAion with Nomsond Vertey atui m iene 
idtoflBottk expefinns whidi do aot^Alvsyt adtut'Of bttng 
SteraUjr lendesed ia £ngl]flu 

A^ aig. 
At: ^g an ttoras' ^ iiir cAw/ ^sig in ta^' gt ih if^, 

Hy irt^ of: ^ re ixdieiid VS^ir 's « ftpbds' by nrufm ^ 
ins fTitst j9f ccmd jiaAsf§eii9m\ Sonth^ i&»m Jigna^ p. 9. 

4f r^ Some oMiftaion %^ Ihkh vnttifdectd into five GcmnMr 
i«f -the LaAin langoagey bij impot ing different mwauitiosl nntt 
•on wocds, according to the coxuioction sa wluoh Ih^ stood, while 

lenr Adterb. AnnpcdKnt «8Btlnii|jfat ce^idsitetEoB: distingMJih- 
ang, in such iasianoe^ the ^ne ^pist of speech ixxxa the other. 
AccovdiQgly aa accent, or some such xuask^ ivts^in writiiig or 
printing placed over tlie last vowel df tlie word, when employ. 
tt in what Was rec'kaned its seccntdarty 'use*; wliile, in jb pritti* 
rjf we, it was written without wkj disdnguidiiiig mask. Se •dte 
^oijnnctien 'quM** was disttiytuished Iron the ?ekti«e ^^oed*} 
and the adverb 'p6st^ from the preposition *post^. The distinc* 
tion was erroneous \ but the expedient employed to mark it was, at 
least, harmless. The word was left unaltered and undisguised \ ixA 
Khos stitoeedcug gMisonamnt liad itlfae moreintfanr power \h 
prove that the relative 'quod' and the conjunction %iaAd^*neB^ 
«nd 4»a<v<e ev«r becNi, in tebttty^ one ottdtfaecniaepad tf iQMnch, 
ft would have Ikoa j«stly i^iDugbt n ^oid nnd luiiwuien ttMe 
it0p, 4iad the wilder gfnnimriiMis gone i» .far aa to-aHtertlte Istters 
df the word| in order to nutf k a djitiBctien <tf tlieitsim '^■rrtirn- 

Ixxxiv. 2. metr. verf^ ^ UmaibAiraKbd'. Pfal. 

Signifying pofleffion : 'tha tuiU «g m fic^lauch' the fixes 
^ .. i^fK Mttf ; fbhtf aig; dnin& an^dh ditBi^ »W 4» 

HSbaidEb 9ghm. air' / ^inw him. Vfid. xiii. 4. 

nustc* vcrf... 
Joined to the Infinitive of Verbs :. ^ inticfaA' OrwaHdng^ 

On^ HfMNii : ^^ m Ur* n^ thgtwmd ;. *ai9 aa 1^ fin' on that 
iofi 'air aa ^iSUAm fia cm /to ^ccmwi, fi$t diat 

XlcMAng daiia of islbt 1 ^ioe dbomh na bbeil agam ort' 
pay me what thm wiefl^ me* Matt, xvtti. 28. ^cia 
*flaeiftd ata^ig mo tfaighaaiiit octia V hrm nmcb eswefi 
tbati w^i< my l»d f hvk^ikvu SI'CO * 

Oenoftig an oalk: *aiv wl fhocal' upon, mj, word; *air 
... * laimh 

. (if Tsom- this ost of the jumositlon air arises tbe egmvdgu^ 

so humorously turned against Mr James Macpherson by Mac- 

codrum the poet, as related in the Eepoxt of the Committee of 

the Highland Society of Scotland on the authenticity of Os- 

siaa's Poems, Append. p« $5* Macpharsoa asked Maccodrum» 

^ Am bheil dad aga4 air an Fh^iim ?•'* litarally^ ^ Have ypu 

*^ aay thitig on the ringalians ?^* intending ta inquire whether 

the latter had any poems in his possession on the subject of the 

fingalian history and exploits. The expression partakes much 

m int rfihe English than of the Gaalic idiom. Indeed it can 

baidlir ba understood in Gaelic, in the sense that the {Querist 

intended. Maccodrum, catching up the expression in its true 

G.aolip acceptation, answered, with affected surprise, '< fiheil 

^ iad agam air an Fh^inn ? Ma bha dad riamh agan} orra, is 

^' Aid o 'chain mi im coirichean.'^ ^ Have 1 any claim on the 

^- Bftgalians } If ever I had, it is long since I lost mji vouchers/* 

i * , ls^mh d' ftthib/^ do Item '^tUbM* ^ Ot MJ rfymr 

^Tha eagal^ mulad, fglos, ocnf^^ &c» air' ife c/ afrrndf fad, 

•ITfaig jua bheul atf "do ch^aitas, b* air do diUit^ my moci/^ 

metn'^ihlg iha Hieiil iir glibcdl^'^My nwu/i JbaU 

.;^ . ' - j!^l ^vito^|NA/-Pfftl. xlix. 3. mdx^r..*Qxi c&is^ 

am bheii mi nis a' teachd' that is tbetMter^ofvJucb 

Tog ort* roufe thjfelfi be/Hr thyfelf, Pfal. IxxiY, a 2.* mctr. t. 
'Chaidh agam air' I prevaiUdwer him, Pfal. xiii. 4. metr* 

>^S aan ormfa diaidh' iif fvasl that wasfvorfietL 
fFhug^e ata UKNiadh air, he hetcdt himfdfio ike nmntain. 
In refpeB of z 'cha n-fhaca mi an famhuil air okas'' I never 
' faw tikir'- like fir Aiufii^; 'Genrodi.-ipt. -^ur k'^- 

'* liighad' however /mall it he. '' 
Joimd-wth, accomptmied by^ m&rai^. ianttian ait bheag^ 
» faobhar' much iron with little edge^ M^ntyte'a Songs... 

^d^che bha-mi n a theach^ atf mb^an tddh 'i^b 
«i air bheagan eudaich' Ittuts a night in his hou/e, 

plenty of food, hut f canty clothing; *air leth lalmhT 

having but one hand* 
Denoting meafure pr dimenfion : *A\ throidh air ^irde' 

feet in height. 
'01c air mhaith Icat e' nvhether you tcie it well or ill. 

Ana, ann an, anns. 
Jk. : ^Anns'an tigh' in the heufe $ ^nns an oidhche^ in th^ 

night ; * 'ann an dochas' in hope \ 'anns a' bhiraiS- 

^ of that opinion* 
Denoting exifteixe : 'ta abbainn ann' there is a river ^ Pfal^ 

xlvi. 4. metr* 'nacb. bithinn ann ni 's m^' Aat 
, ' '' Jhotdd not hi any more ; 1)' fhcarr a bhi marbh nt 

* ann' it were better to be dead than to he alive z 'cioc 

* a tV ann i\ what is itf^^is mife th' aqn' i^ // l^ 
: fmar gn b*ann' as 'it were; ^tha e 'n a dhufan^ 


Part II.] OF SPEECH, „ 137 

* ionraic' ^ // ajufi man ; Hhz i 'h a bantraidi'^ 
is a widow (t)* 

Marking emphafis : 'is aim air eigin a th^ e as* ^ wms 
with difficulty he got off s 'an aite feafamk is ann a 

* theichiad' inftead ofjianding (keeping their ground) 
^ey fled: ^ach freagair thu ? fhreagair mi aim' 
will you not anjwer i I have an/wered. 

Out of: ^as an d^aich' out of the country. 
Denoting extin^on : 'tlia an foius^ no an teine^ air ddl as' 

the lightj or thefire^ if gone out. 
^As an alt' out tf joint f 'as a* ghualainn, as a' chruachainnj 

^ as an uilinn^ &c. ttiflocated in tbejioulder, hip^ el-* 

'Chaidh c as' he efcaped. 
*Cuir as da' deflroy him^ Qf it. 
^Chaidh 2S 6a! he is peri/hid^ undone* 
rrhug c na buinn as' be fcampered off. 
*Dubh as' Uot put. 

Of: fArmailt mh6r de 41iaoinibh agus a dh' eachaibh' a 

great army of nun and horses. 
Off: 'Bha na geugan air an fgathadh dheth' tbi branches 

were lopped off; 'thug iad an ceann deth' they behead* 

ed him. 
'Dh* aon rin' with one confent^ with one purpofe / *dh* aon 

bharail' with one mind^ judgment. 


(t) This use of the preposition ann in conjunction with a 
possessive Pronoun, is nearly akin to that of the Hebrew hf 
[for] in such expressions as these ^ ' He hath made me [for] a 
* father to Pharaoh, and £for] lord of all his house ^' rinn e mi 
'a om athair do Fharaoh^ agus ^n am thigheam os ceann a thighe 
uile; Gen. xlv. 8. * Thou hast taken th&^wife <rf Uriah to be 
' [for] thy wife 5' ghahh thi bean Uriah gu hi '« a mnaoi dhsdt 
Jeinj d Sam. mu 10. 


138 OF THE PARTS [Part IL 

'Ala agus a dh oidhcbe i. e. de la agu^ de oidhche^ by 
day and by night. Lat. de noSe, Hor. 

'Saidbbhreas mor d'a inheud' riches however great^ Pfal.cxiX* 
14. mctr. 


Ito : Tabhair dbomh' give to me, give me ; ^thug finn a bos 
min do Dhearg' ive gave herjifi hand to Dargo* 
*Dh' eirich fud dba gu h-obann' thai befil him fud^ 
denly. *Mar fin duinnie gu latba' fo it fared nvith us 
till dayy jb we pmjfed the night / *ma 's olc dhomh, 
cha n-fhcarr dhoibh' if it goes ill with me, they fore 
no better, 

'Latba dbomhfa fiubbal bbeann' one day as I travel^ 
led the hills / ^latha dbuinn air machaur Alba' one 
day when we were in the lowlands of Scotland 9 on 
Scotia s plains • 


Between : 'eadar an dorus ag^s an urfainn' between the door 
and the pojl* % . * 

'Dh' eirich eadar mi agus mo choimhearfnach' a quarrel ^a^ 
rofe betwifct me and my neighbour. 

'Eadar mhor agus bheag' both gr^at and finally PfaU xlix. 2. 
metr* Rev. xix. 5. 'eadar bhochd agi^s nochd' bbth 
the poor and the naked. 

• Fa 
Upon: 'Fa n bhord' upon the board $ 'leige^dar fa lar' was 
dropped on the ground, omitted^ negle8ed\ CarfweU 
*Fa 'n adhbhar ud* on that account 5 'creud fa 'n 
' abradb iad ?' wherefore Jbould they fay ? 
'Fa flieachd* feven times, Pfal. xii. 6. metr. 5 'fa cheud' a 
hundred times, Pfal. Ixii. 9. metr. 

Fuidh, fo. 
Under : 'Fuidh n bhord* under the board; 'ftiidh bhlath' 
in bkjfom ; 'tha an t^arbhar fo dheis' the corn is in 
the ear. 'Fuidh fmuairean* under concerns 'fo 
' ghruaim gloomy ; Ho mhi<^ghean. in bad humour / 
'fuidh mhi'chliu' under bad report. 

PartIL] OF SPEECH. 1 39 

Denoting intention or purpose : 'air bhi fiiidhe' it hing ^u 
purpose^ Acts, zx. 7.; Hha tigfainn fbdham''^/ tr fajf 
intention or incHnationn 

Gu, Gus. 

To : *o thigh gu tigh' Jrom bouse to house ; »gu crich mo 

* shaoghail fein' to the end of my life ; ^gus an crion 

* gu luaithre a' chlach' until the stone shall crumbU 
to dust. Sm. Seann dstna. 

'A bhliadhna gua an am so' this time twelvemonth ; 

a year ago y 'a sheachduin gus an d^' yesterday se'^en^ 


*Mile gu leth* a mile and a half; 'bliadhna' gu leth' 

a year and half 


Without:, 'gun amharus' without doubt; ^gun bhrogan' 
without shoes ; 'gun f hios' without knowledge^ unwit^ 
tingly ; 'gun fhios nach faic th^ e' in case you may 
see him J if perhaps you may see him; 'gun fhios ani 
' faio thu e* if perhaps you may not see hifti* *Gun 
^ chomas aig air' without his being able to prevent it^ 
or avoid it ; involuntarily. ^Gniomh gun chomain* 
an unmerited^ or unprovoked deed. ^Dh' dithn e dha 

IT ' gun sin a dheanamh' he ordered him not to do that. 

^Fhuair iad rabhadh gun iad a phiUtinn' they wer0 
warned not to return. 


^fter : *Iar sin* after that ; *iar leughadh an t-SoisgeiP af- 
ter the reading of the Gospel; *iar tuiteam sios da aig 
' a chqsaibh' having fallen down at his feet ; 'bha mi 
iar mo mhealladh' / was deceived. 

Lcy leis. 

With: *Chaidh mi leis a' jchuideachd xohbit* I went with 

the multitude. 


J 40 OF tHK PARTS . [Part II. 

D<n6tisig the instrument : ^nbarbh e '^oin leis a' chlaidh- 

^ eamh' £r kiUed John with tie sward* 
the agent : ^thomhaiseadh lo Diarmid an toxc^ the hoar 

was measured by Diarmid. 
possession: 4s le DonuU ^n leabhar' the hoot is Do^ 

nakPsi *chA\ti% fi ii is not Us. 
opinion or feeling : 'is fada learn an la gu b-oidhche' 

/ think the day hng^ or tedious^ tilt night c^me ; 4s 

* cniaidh learn do chor' / think ymsr case a hard one ; 
^is docha learn' I think it probable ; 4s doilich learn' 
/ am scrry ; *is aithreach leis' Ae repents. 

Along ; *leis an t-sruth' along the stream ; 'leis an leathad' 

do%m tfy declifoitt/, 
^Leig learn' let me alone ; 4eig leis' let him alone* 


jibout : Hig 4adhadh mu a cheann' winding about his head; 

"- " 4abhair e mu ludas' he spoke about Judas ; 'nuair 
' smachduichear duine leat niu 'lochd* when thou cor^ 
rectest a man for his sin^ PsaL xxzix. 11. metr. ; 
*sud am fath mu 'n goir a' chorr' that is the reason of 
the heron*s cry. Seann dana. ^Sud fath mu 'n 

* guidheann ort na naoimh' for this reason will the 
saints make supplication to thee. 


From : *o bhaile gu baile' from town to town ; *o mhadainn 

* gu feasgar*^of» morning to evening ; *o 'n la thain- 
^ ig mi dhachaidh' from the day that I came home ; 
*o 'n H, is often abridged into *la% as 4a thainig mi 
^ dhachaidh* since I came home. 

Since^ because : Hhugamaid uiP oimn a' bhanais, o f huair 
' sinn cuireadh dhol ann' let us all to the weddings 
since we have been bidden to it. 

Denoting want, in opposition to possesion denoted l)j aig: 
'na tha uainn 's a b' f heairrd sinn againuj what we 
want and should be the better for baviHg. 

part II.] OF SPEECH. 141 

Impfying desire: 'ciodtha naitV\wbat would you have f 
*Tha claidheamh nam' 1 waui a sword* 

jiiove : *Mar togam os m' uil» aoibhneas ard cathaif lefu- 

saleim' if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy ^ 

Fsal. cxxxvii. 6. metr. ; *os mo cheann' ahoFoe me^ 

over me. 

Ri, ris. 
To : 'cosmhuil ri mac Righ' Hie to the ton of a King ; 

*chuir iad teine ris an tigh' they set f re to the house ; 

*laimh ris a' bhall^' nigh to the wails ^maille ri* 

together with. 

*Ri li gaoithe* on a day of wind; *ri fad mo r^ '$ 

* mo la' during all the days of my life ; *ri linn Righ 
Uilliam* in the reign of King William. 

*Na bi rium* dofCt molest me. 

*Feuch ris' try it. 

*Cuir tis* fly your wori, exert yourself ; 'cuirearna 

* nithc so ribh* these things shall be, added unto you. 
Matt. VI. 33. *Tha an Spiorad ag cur niinn na 
^ saorsa' the Spirit applieth to us the redemption^ 
Assemb. Sb« Catecb. 

ilxposed : *tha an craicionn ris' t/ie siin is exposed^ or bare ; 
•leig ris' expose^ make manifest. 

Before: *roimh *n cha?bad* before the chariot ; hroimh 'n 
^ chamhair' before the dawn ; 'roimh na h-uile nith* 

* ibh' before J in preference to, all things ; *chuir mi 

* romham' / set before me^ purposed^ intended. ' 
*Imich romhad* go forward; *dh* fhalbh e roimhe' 
be went his way^ he went off. 

fm t 'cbaidb e seacb an dorus' he passed by the door. 

142 dF THE PARTS [Part n. 

In comparison with : *is trom a' chlach seach a' chlbineag' 
the stone is beavy compared with the down. 

Tar, thar. 

Over^ across : ^chaidh e thar an amhainn, that' a' mbonadh' 
he went over the river, over the mQ§tn$ain ,* ^tha sin 
^ thar m' ^olas, thar mo bheachd', &c. that is beyond 
my knowledge^ beyond my comprehension, &c, 

Trc, troimh, throimh. 
Through : *tre uisge i$ tre theine' through water and throu^ 


The following initial fyUables, ufed only in compofition^ 
are prefixed to nouns^ adje£tiveS| or verbsj to modify or al« 
ter their iignification* 

An, (u) f privative fyllablesiignifying^M/, or ferying 

Pii I to change the fignification of the words 

Ao^ e^) eU} eas^ ^ to which they are prefixed into its con-* 
Mi, I trary \ as *focair' eafe^ *anfhocair* diflrejs^ 

Neo, \uneaftnejs ; ^ciontach' ^i//y, 'dichiontach' 

innocent i 'treabh' to cultivate^ Mithreabh' an uncul* 
fivated place, a defart s 'dionach' tight, clofe, ^o« 

• dionach' leahyi ^coir juftice, ^eucoir* injuflice i 
'flan' whole, in health, ^czfi^Jlck ; *caraid' ajfriendp 
*eafcaraid' an enemy; ^buidheachas' gratitude, *mi"i 

* bhuidheachas' ingratitude $ 'claon' awry, *nco^ 
' chlaon' unhtajfed, impartial; *duine* a many *nco- 
^ dhuine' a worthlefs unnatural creature. 


(n) Yhis syllable assumes various forms. Before a broad 
vowel or consonant^ an^ as ^anshocair'j before a small vowel or 
consonant ain^ as 'aineolach^ ignorant, 'aindeoin' unwillingness £ 
before a labial am or aim, as ^aimbeartach' poor; sometimes with 
the m aspirated, as 'aimhleas' detriment, ruin, 'aiinh-leatban* nti^'* 

Part II.] OF SPEECH. 143 

An, Am, intensative, denoting an immoderate degree, or 

faulty excess ; as Highearnas' dominion^ ^ntighearnas' 

tyranny ; Hromaich' to make heavy ^ ^antromaich' to 

maie very heavy i, to aggravate ; 'teas' heat^ *ainteas' 

excessive beat; *miann' desire^ ^aimnhiann* inordinate 

desire^ lust. 
AIs, Ath, again^ back ; as *cirigh' rising, *aiseirigh' resurrect 

tion,- *beachd* view^ ^ath-bheachd' retrospect ; *fk%' 

growtb, *ath-f has* after^grovotb. 
Bith, contifiuidly ; as 'bithdheanamh' doing continually ^ i^y* 

^m bithdheantas' incessantly* 
Co, Com, Comb, Con, together^ equally^ mutually y as, 

*gleacadh'^^^fi«^, *co*gbleacadh*^^Art«^ together ; 

*lion* Xo filly 'colion' \o fulfil^ accomplish ; *ith' to eat; 

*comith' eating together ; *radh' sayings 'cophradh' 

conversation^ speech ; Hrom* weighty *cothrom' equal 
* weighty equity ; 'aois* age^ *comhaois' a cotemporary. 

Im, about, roundy entire ; as ^lkn*Jull, 4omlan' quite complete ; 
. 'gaoth' wind, ^iomgbaoth' a whirlwi/uf ; 'slainte' 

healthy 'iom-shlainte'^^A/^^^ becdtb. ^ 
In, or ion, worthy ; as *ion-mholta* worthy to be praised; 

4on-rogbnuidh' worthy to be chosen^ Fsal. zxv. 12* 

metr. vers. 
So, easily^ gently ; as *faicsin' seeing^ *so-f haicsin' easily seen ; 

*sion' weather, *soinion |^so-shion]* calm weather ; 

<sgeul' a tale^ 'soisgeul' a good tale, gospeL 
Do, with difficulty, evil; as ^tuigsin' understanding, Mo-tbuig- 

sin* difficult to be understood; 'doinion' stormy wea^ 

tber; ^beart' deed, exploit^ Mo-bheatt' evil deed. 

J* ' 


144 OP THE PAiiTS [Part 11. 


Under this class of words, ii: is proper to enumerate not 
onlj those single Particles which are usually denominated 
Conjunctions ; but also the most common phrases which are 
used as Conjunctions to connect either words or sentences* 

Ach ; but. 

Agus, is ; and. 

A chionn gu ; because that. 

A chum as gu ; in order that. 

A chum as nach ; that not. 

Air chor as gu ; so that. 

Aireagalgu,-J ^^^^^ ^^.^^ 
D'eagalgu; j ^ "^ ' 

> by reason that. 

Air son 

Do bhrigh 

Bheil fhios, '1 fhios? is there knowledge 9 is it known? ^ 

expression of curiosity, or desire to know. 
Co ; as. 
Ged, giodh \ although (x). 

. Ged 

(x) The conjunction *gcd' loses the d when written before 
an adjective or a personal pronoun j as *ge binn do ghuth' /A^* 
your voice be sweet; 'ge h-ard Jehovah', Psal. cxxxviit. 6. 

The translators of the scriptures appear to have erred m sup- 
posing 'ge' to be the entire Conjunction, and that d is the verbal 
particle *do\ This has led them to write *ge d*' or *gc do' in 
situations in which *do* alters the sense from what was intended* 
or is totally inadmissible. *Ge do ghluais mi', Deut. xxix. 19. 
is given as the translation oi tho^ t waik^ i. e.^tho^ I shall walk; 
but in reality it signifies tho^ I did walk^ for *do ghluais' is a past 
tense. It ought to be ^gcd ghluais mi'. So also ^ge do ghleidh 
^ thu mi*, Judg. xiii. 16. tho^ you detain me^ ought rather to be 
•ged ghleidh thu mi'. *Ge do ghlaodhas iad rium', Jer. xi. 11. 
tbo* they cry to mcy is not agreeable to the Gaelic idiom. It 
ought rather to be ^^^d ghlaodh iad rium', as in Hosea, xi. 7.— 

3 ♦Gc 

JPartIL] OF SPEECH. 145 

Ged tha, ge ta ; though it be^ notwithstanding; 
Gidheadh ; yet, nevertheless. . 
Gu, gur ; that. 

Gun f hios ; without inowledge^ it being uncertain whether 
or not, in case not. lonnas 

*Ge do dh' f heudainnse muinghin bhi agam* Phil. iii. 4. iho^ I 
might have confidence. Here the verbal particle b doubled un« 
necessarily, and surely not ^according to classical precision. Lbt 
it be written *ged dh' f heudainnse', and the phrase is correct.-^ 
'Ge do ^s eigin domh am bas fhulang% Mark xiv. 31. tho* I must 
suffer death : 'ge do tha aire^p[ih chloinn Israel\ &c. Rom. ix. 
27. tho' the number of tte children of Israel be, &c. The pre- 
sent tenses *is and 'tha' never take the *do' before them. ^Gtd. 

* is eigin, ged tha*, is liable to no objection. — At other times, 
when the *do' appeared indisputably out of place ^ the d has 
been dismissed altogether, contrary to the usual mode of pronun- 
ciation \ as 'ge nach ^eiP, Acts xvii. 27. 2 Cor. xii. 11. where 
the common pronunciation requires 'ged nach ^eiP. So, 'ge d* 
' nach duin^ an t-aodach' &c. 'ge d' nach biodh ann ach an 

* righ' &c. M^Intosb^s Gael, Prov. p. 35, 36. where the d is re- 
'tained even before 'nach', because such is the constant way of 

pronouncing the phrase. 

* These faulty expressions which, without intending to dero- 
gate from the high regard due to such respectable authorities, I 
have thus freely ventured to point out, seem to have proceeded 
from mistaking the constituent letters of the conjunction in 
question. It would appear that d was originally a radical letter 
of the word ^ that through time it came, like many other con- 
sonants, to be aspirated ^ aud by degrees became, in some situ« 
ations, quiescent. In Irish it is written 'giodh'. This manner 
of writing the word is adopted by the translator of Baxter's Call. 
One of its compounds is always written 'gidheadh'. In these, 
the d is preserved though in its aspirated state. In Scotland it 
is still pronounced, in most situations, 'ged', without aspirating 
the d at all. These circumstances put together seem to prove 
that final ^is a radical constituent letter of this Conjunction. 

I have the satisfaction to say that the very accurate Author of 
the Gaelic Translation of the Scriptures has, with great candour, 
acknowledged the justice of the criticism contained in the fore- 
going note. It is judged expedient to retain it in this edition 
of the Grammar, lest the authority of that excellent Translation 
might perpetuate a form of speech which is confessed to be 
faulty. T 

146 OF THE PAET8 OF tp££CH. [Part IL 

lonnas gu ; iosomuch thal^ so tbat* 

Ma; if. 

Mar ; as, like as. 

Mar sud agus $ to also* 

Maseadh,) _ .^. , - 

> if 50^ if ft oe JO, tken. 
Ma ta ; J 

Mar; if not. 

Mar bhiodh gu ; were it not that# 

Mas an, mu 'n ; before that, lest* 

Na; than. 

Nach; that not. 

Nan, nam ; if • 

No; or. 

O; since, because* 

Oir; for. 

Os barr; moreover. 

Sol, suil ; before that. 

Tuilleeile; further. 

Ulme sin ; therefore. 



The syllable or sounds, employed as expressions of va« 
rious emotions or sensations, are numerous in Gaelic, but 
for the most part provincial, and arbitrary. , Only one or 
two single vocables, and a few phrases, require to be noticed 
uilder this division. 
Och ! Ochan ! alas ! 
Ochaa nan och ! alas \S wettaday ! 
Fire faire ! what a pother ! 
Mo thruaighe ! my misery ' ) , . 

Mo chreachadh ! my despoiling ! j 
Mo naire ! my shame^ for shame ! fy ! 
H-ugad, at youy take care of yourself gardez-vous, 

Feuch ! behold ! lo ! 







O^NTAX treats of the connection of words with eacfi 
other in a sentence ; and teaches the proper method of ex- 
pressing their connection by the CoUocation and th(| Form 
of the words. Gaelic Syntax may be conveniently enough 
explained under the common divisions of Concord and 


Under Concord is to be considered the agreement of the 
Article with its Noun ;-«-of an Adjective with its Nona ;— 
of a Pronoun with its Anteced^t ^—of a Verb wift il8 
Nommative ;•— and of one Noun with anothcjr* 


148 OF SYNTAX. [Part II. 




The Article is always placed before its Noun^ and nesft 
to it, unless when an Adjective intervenes. 


The Article agrees with its Noun in Gender, Number, 
and Case. Final n is changed into m before a plain Labial; 
as 'am baile' the town^ ^am fear' the man. It is usually cut 
off before an aspirated Palatal, or Labial, exceptingy]& ; as 
*a' chaora' the sheep^ *a' mhuc' the sow^ *a' choin' of the dogm. 
In the Dat. Sing, initial a is cut off after a Preposition end- 
ing in a Vowel ; as *do 'n cbloich' to the stone (y). 

A Noun, when immediately preceded by the Article, 
miffers some changes in Initial Form : 1 . With regard t 
Nouns beginning with' a Consonant, the aspirated form i 
assumed by a mas. noun in the gen. and dat. singular ; hy^ 
a fem. noun in the nom. and dat. singular. If the noutx 
'begins with s followed by a towel or by a Liquid, instead 
of having the s aspirated, t is inserted between the Article 
and the noun, in the foresaid cases ; and the s becomes en-' 
tirely quiescent (z). 2. With regard to Nouns btginning- 


t 4 

(y) To avoid, as far as may be, the too frequent use of a by 
itsrff; perhaps it would be better always to write the article full, 
•an' or *am'j and to apply the above rules, about the elision of 
its letters, only t« regulate the pronunciation. Irish books, and 
our earlier Scottish publications, have the article written abiost 
^always full, in situations where, according to the latest mode of 
Orthbgraphy, it is mutilated. 

' (z) The practice of suppressing the sound of an initial con- . 
sfK>nant in certain situation^, and supplying its place by another 
of a softer sound, is carried to a much gf eater extent in the Irish 
Pialect. It is termed ecl^sis by the Irish grammarians, and 
is an evidence of nice attention tm eupbonia. 

PartllL] OF syntax; 149 

with a Vowel, / or i is inserted between the Article and 
the nouii in certain Cases, viz. t in the nom. sing, of mas. 
nouns, A in. the gen. sing, of fern, nouns ; and k in the 
nom. and dat. plur. of nouns of either gender. Through- 
out the other sing, and plux. Cases, all nouns retai^i their 
Primary Form. , 

The following examples show all the varieties that take 
place in declining a Noun with the Article. 

Nouns beginning with a Labial or a Palatal. . 
Bsurd, mas. a Poet. 

" Sing. Plur. 

N. am Bard, na Baird, 

C a' Bh^rd, nam Bard, 

2). a' 'n Bhard (a). na Bardaibh. 

( Cluas, fem. an Ear. 

Sing. ' Pliir. 

N, a^ Chluas, na Cluasan, 

G. na Cluaise, nan Cluas, 

2). a', 'n Chluais« na Cluasaibh* 

Nouns beginning withf. 
Fleasgach, m. a Bachelor^ 

JSittg. Plur. 

. N. am Fleasgach, na Fleasgaich, 

G. an Fhleasgaicb, sam Fleasgach, 

2). an, '4 I^asgach. na Fleasgaich. 


(a^ The Dat. case is always preceded by a Preposition, *ris a* 
* bhardy do 'n bhard, aig na bardaibh' j in declining a Noun 
with the Article, any Proper Preposition may be supplied before 
the Dative case. ^ 

#£• - •: 


150 OF SYNTAX. [PartllL 

F6id| f. a Turf*. 
Sing* Piftm 

N. anFhoid, naFiidcan, 

G. oa Foide, nam Foid^ 

D. an, *n Fh6id- na Foidibh. 

Kounx beginning with a Lingualm 

Doras, m. a Door, 

Sing, Plur» 

N^. an Doras, na Dorsan, 

G. an Doruisy , nan Dorsa, . 

*JD*, an^ 'n Dorus. na Dorsaibh. 

Teasach, f. a Fever., 
Sing, Plur, 

IT. an Teasach, na Teasaichean^ 

G. na Teasaich, nan Teasach, 

D. an, 'n Teasaich# na Teasaichibh* 

Nouns beginning with /• 

SloC|,mas, aPit* 
Sing. Plur. 

JV. an Sloe, na Sluic, 

G. an t-Sluic, nan Sloe, 

Z>. an, 'n t-Sloc. na Slocaibh* 

Siil, fern, an Eye^ 
Sing. Plur. 

N. an t-Suil, na Suilean, 

G. na Sula, nan Sul, 

D. an, 'n uSuiU ' na Suilibh. 


Part III.] OF SYNTAX^ 151 

Nouns heginniHg with a VoweL 

lasg^ m. a Fuh» 
Sing. JPlur. 

N. an t-Iasg, na h-Iasga, 

G. an Eisg, nan lasg, 

/)• an, 'n lasg, na h-Iasgaiblu 

Adharcy f« a Horn. 
Sing. Plur. 

N. an Adharc, na h-Adhaircean, 

G. na h-Adhairc, nan Adharc. 

D. an, ^n Adhairc. na h-Adhaircibh. 

The Initial Fonn of Adjectives immediately preceded bj 
the Article^ follows the same rules with the Initial Form of 

Besides the common use of the Article as a Definitive to 
ascertain individual objects, it is used in Gaelic ; 

1. Before a Noun followed by the Pronouns so^ sin, or 
ui ; as ^am fear so' this man^ ^an dgh ud* yon house. 

2. Before a Noun preceded by the Verb Is and an Ad- 
jective ; as 4s maith an sealgair ^^ be is a good huntsmim^ 
^u luath an coisiche e' he was a swift footman. 

3« Be£9re some names of countries \ as 'righ na Spainne^ 
the kingofSpaiUf *chaidh e do 'n Fhrainc' he went to France i 
but *righ Bhreatain' the king of Britain, *chaidh e dh' Eiria' 
he went to Ireland^ without the Article* 


152 OF SYNTAX. [Part IIL 




When an Adjective and the Noun whieh it qualifier are 
in the same clause or member of a sentence, the Adjective 
is usually placed after its Noun ; as ^ceann liath' a hoary 
head^ 'duine ro ghlic' a very wise man. If they be in dif* 
ferent clauses, or if the one be in the subject, and the other 
in the predicate of a proposition, this rule does not apply; 
as ^is gUc an duine sin' that is a wise man^ *cha truagh leam 

* do chor' / do not thini your case unfortunate. 

1. Numerals, whether Cardinal or Ordinal, to which 
add ^iomadh' many^ *gach' every^ are placed before their 
Nouns ; as *tri lathan' three days^ *an treas latha' the third 
day ; *iomadh' duine' many a man^ ^acfa^un g* a nead' every 
hird to its nest. — Except such instances as the following % 
*Righ Tearlach a h-aon' King Charles the First^ *Righ 

* Seumas a cuig* King James the Fifth. 

2. The posses^ve pronouns 'mo, do,* &c. are always 
placed before their nouns ; as 'mo lamh' my hand. — The 
interrogatives *co, cia,' &c. are placed before their nouns, 
with the article intervening ; as * cia am fear ?' which manf 

3. Some adjectives of one syllable are usually placed be» 
fore their Nouns ; as ^deadh dhuine' a good man^ 'droch 

* ghniomh' a had action^ ^seann sluagh, old people. Such 
Adjectives, placed before their Nouns, often combine with 
them, so as to represent one complex idea, rather than two 
distinct ones \ and the adjective and noun, in that situation^ 
may rather be considered as one complex terna, than as two 
distinct words, and written accordingly j as 'oigf bear' a young 


Chil[}. I.] OF StNTAXi 168 

fnin^ ^^bhean' a young tt^man^ ^gatbbehriochtn* tikk >^a 


TboHgli ft Gt^lic Adjectivt poss^^tes ft verify df Fontis, 
yn its Form is dbt ftltra/s detftfUiiti^ b^ this Noto vfhefii 
lignfficatitm it modifies. Th« Fdtm bf th^ Adj^tive de^ 
pends Oft its NoUii, whieti if tWmMtsttfely feUdiirs the Nouti^ 
bf CWly ^ith th6 itHttv^TiAM 6f ih idtens^ti^^ PartidUv ^6y 
« gle/ dec. afid whl^li both t!i6 Noto ihd Hie Adj^ti^fe M 
in the Sttbject, tn: bbtli inl the Predicat^^ ot in the sittn^ 
tlmim Gt membet b( a demenee. In all oth^ ^tttsttioiis, 
the foon of the Adjective does iii no resp^t depttid bit the 
l<fotiiia &r, ih other Wo^, th^ Adjective doi^s not agree 
"With the Noun (c). 

To iUo^trate this mle^ let tht fbllowlf^ ex«m!ples be al- 
tentively considered : *U fa^^g dfto a' gba^th fhlaiift' IdiiHk^ 


fb) So iti English, Gra^dfkAe^, WghlariJ}, iMttMsi W 
Latin, Respublicay Decefnmi; in Itillian, Friitiavera >- iA Frenfeb^ 
Bonbeurf Malheur ^ &c. from being an adjective aild a noun, pame 
to be considered as a single complex term, or compound word, and 
to be written according!]^. 

A close analogy may be traced bnetween th^ Gaelic afid the 
French in the collocation <^ the Adjectivep In both languages^ 
the Adjective is ordinarily placed after its Noun. If it be 
placed before its Noun, it is by a kind of poetical inversion \ 
Morchada^ tiogh% des tenebrei ipaihes ; by invej^oh*, *tiugh' 
* dhorchadas', d^ epaiises tenebres : 'fear m6r'^ an bomme gritad; 
by inversion, in a metaphorical sense, *m6r fhear^- an grand^ 
nomme.'^A Numeral Adjective, in both languages, is placed 
befefe ity noiin ; a$ alio 4oxnadh', plusufurs ; except when join-. 
Ad to a ^ropei^ nafAe, wh^re the Cardinal is used for the Ordinal^ 
'Seumas a Ceithir', Jaques ^uatre* 

(c) The same seems to be the case in the Cornish ]aiiguage» 
See lAuyd^s Afcb. Brit, p. 243. coi. 3. 

When an Adjective precedes its Noun, it undergoes no chatigir 
of termination *, so Hhig an Tigheam a nuas le ard iolaich^ the 
Lord will descend with a great jbout^ 1 Thess. iv. 16. *mar 
^ ghiifh m6r shluaigh' as toe voice of a great multitude. Rev. 
six. 6. U 

154 OF sTNTAx. [Part III# 


the cold wind; *is beag orm fuaim na gaoithe fiiaire' / dis^ 
Hie the sound of the cold wind; 4s beag orm seasamh anns a*^ 
' ghaoith f huair' / dislike standing in the cold wind. In 
these examples, the Adjective and the Noun are both in 
the same clause or member of a sentence^ and therefore 
they must agree together.-*In the following examples the 
Adjective and the Noun do not necessarily agree together : 
'Is fuar a' ghaoth a tuath' cold is the wind from the north; 
^is trie leis a ghaoith a tuath bhi fuar' it is usual for the 
wind from the north to be cold. In these examples, the 
Noun is in the Subject, and the Adjective in the Predicate 
of the proposition. 

The grammatical distinction observable in the following 
examples is agreeable to the strictest philosophical proprie-— - 
ty. 'Rinn mis' ao scian gheur' / made the sharp knife .— " 
here the Adjective agrees with the noun, for it modifies tbe^ 
Noun, distinguishing that knife from others. *Rinn mis*^ 
* to scian geur' / made the knife sharp : here the Adjectiv^^ 
does not agree with thie Noun, for it modifies not the Noun, 
but the Verb. It does not characterize the object on whichi 
the operation is performed ; but it combines with the Verb 
in specifying the nature of the operation performed. The 
expression is equivalent to ^gheuraich mi an scian' / sharp* 
ened the knife.'^So also ^mhothaich mi a' ghaoth f huar' I 
felt the cold wind; but 'mhothaich mi a' ghaoth fuar' I felt 
the wind cold. In the former of these examples the Ad- 
jective modifies the Noun, and agrees with it j in the latter 
it does not agree with the Noun, for its use is to modify the 
Verb, or to specify the nature of the sensation felt. — lu 
like manner, ^h' f hag iad an obair criochnaichte' they le/i 
the worifnished; ^fhuaradh an oigh ^nte, marbh' the matd 
was found stretched out dead. And so in other 3iinilar ia^ 

I. WhCH 

Chap. I.] or SYNTAX. 155 

I. When an Adjective and Noun are so situated and re- 
lated, that an agreement takes place between them, then 
the Adjective agrees with its noun in Gender, Number, 
and Case. A Noun preceded by the Numeral Ma' two^ 
though it be in the Singular Number, [See conclusion of 
Part II. Chap. I.] takes an Adjective in the Plural ; as 
Ma iasg bheaga' two smatrfishesy John, vi. 9.-*The Initial 
Form of the Adjective depends partly on the Gender of the 
Noun, partly on its Termination, and partly on its being 
preceded by the Article. 

The following examples of an Adjective declined along 
with its Noun, ezibit the varieties in the Initial Form, as 
well as in the Termination of the Adjective* 



Fear mor, mas. a great man. 

Withdut tJu Article. 
Sing. Plur. 

N. Fear M6r, Fir mhora, 

G. Fir mhoir, . Fheara m&ra, 

jD. Fear mdr, Fearaibh mbrz^ 

V. Fhir mboir* Fheara m6ra» 

With the Article. 
N. Am Fear m&r, Na Fir mh&ra, 

G. An Fhir mhoir. Nam Fear mora, 

D. An Fhear mhor. Na Fearaibh mora*' 

Slat gheal, fern, a white rod. 

Without the Article. 
N. Slat gheal, Slatan geala, 

G- Slaite gile, ; Shlatan geala, 

D. Slait ghil, Slataibh geala, 

V. Shlat gheal. Shlata geala. 


156 (^tYNTAx. [Fart III. 

Sing. Pifr. 

N. An t<Slat gfaeal, Na Slataa geala, 

0. Na Skite gile. Nan Slata g€ala, 

2>. An VSkiit ghil. Na Sktaibh geala* 

Oglach dUeas, m. afaithjul Servant. 

Sing* * PbiK* 

N. Oglach dijka«» Oghloh dhil«M» 

G. Oglalch dhilisy Oglach dileas, 

D. Oglach dileasy Qgl^a^haibh dileas, 

V. Oglaich dhilis. Oglacha dileas. 

N. An t-Oglach dileasi Na h-Ogkich dhilea^ 

. G. An Oglaich dhilis. Nan Oglach dileas^ 

2). An Oglach dhileas. Na h-Ogkchaibh dileas. 

Clarsach fhonnmhor, f • a tuneful Hurf. 

Wth^t the Article. 

N, Clarsach fhonnmhor, Clarsaichean fonnmhor, 

G. Ctarsaich fonnmhoir, Chlarsach fonnmhor, 

i). Clarsaich f honnmhoir. Qarsaichibh fonnmhor, 

^. Chkrsach fhonnmhor* Ghlarsaiche fonnmhor* 

Witk the Article. 

N. A' Chlarsach Shonnmbor, Na Clarsaichean fonnmhoF^ 
G. Na Clarsaich fonnmhoir, Nan Clarsach fbnnmhor^ 
D. A'y 'n Chlarsaich fhonnoiri Na Clarsaichibh £6nnmbo3r. 


Chap. I.] or arNTAx. 157 

An Adjectiwy beginmng with ft langual, and preceded 
by a Noun terminating in a Lingual^ retains its primary 
Form in all the Singular cases,; for the sake, it would seem, 
of preserving the agreeable sound arising from the coales- 
cence of the two LinguaU; as ^nighean donn' a brown maid, 
instead of *nighean dhonn'; *a' choin duibh' of the black dogj 
instead of Hl* choin dhuihb^j *air a cbois deis* tm his right 
foot^ instead of ^air a chois dheis'* 

II. A Noun preceded by an Adjeetlve assumes the aspi- ' 
* rated Form : as 'ard bheann' a high bill^ karuaidh dheuch^ 
' aian' a hard trial. 

X» A Neun preceded by a Numeral is in the primary 
Form; as Hri ^^^ir' tbnefif^eri; to which add 4omadh* 
manyf ^ach^ mi^; as ^omadh fear^ mai^ a man; 'gach 
^craobk' iVirjf /fv^.-^Exeept ^aon' tme^ ^' two ^ ^eud* 
Jint ; as ^aoa f hear^ Me masty ^da chraoibh' two trees. 

2. A Noun preceded by any of the following P«>sse8sire 
IVonouns, ^' ier, Hur' our^ ^bhar* jt<uir, ^n' tbeir^ is in the 
primary Form ; as ^ mathair' her mother ^ 'ar brathair* our 
bnoiikep. When the Possessive Pronoun *a' her^ pj^ecedes a 
Noun CM* a» Adjective beginning with a vowel, h is insert- 
ed between them ; as. 'a h-athair, her father, ^ h-aon mhac' 
her onhf son. The Posses^ve Pronouns 'ar' our^ <bhur' your^ 
usually take n betw^n them and ^ foUowing Noun or 
Adjective beginning with a vowel; as ^ar a-aihair' ourfom 
tAer, %hur n-aran' your tread. Perhaps a distinction ought 
to be made, by inserting n only after ^\ and not after 
^bhuv' (d). This would s»ve often ta distinguish the one 
word from die other ia speaking, where they are ready to 
be confounded by ^khur' being pronounced ^r'» 

3. A Noun beginning with a Lingual, preceded by an 


(d) Thaa %hm infttinn* jr«vr wmff Act^i zv, 24» 

158 OF SYNTAX. [Part III. 

Adjective ending in », is in the primarj Fcdnu; as Hu)ii 
^ duine' ofte man, 'seann sluagh' old people. 




The Personal and Possessive Pronouns follow the Number 
of their Antecedents, i. e. of the Nouns which they repre- 
sent. Those of the 3d Pers. Sing, follow also the Gander 
of their antecedent ; as ^heas a' bhean aig a chosaibh^ agus 

* thoisich i air am fliuchadfa leis a deuraibh, agus thiormaich 
^ f tad le gruaig a cinn'. The woman stood at bis feety and 
sh£ began to wet them with her tears ^ and she wiped them with 
the hair of her head, Luke vii. 38. They follow, however, 
not the Gender of the Antecedent, but the sex of the crea- 
ture signified by the Antecedent, in those words in which 
Sex and Gender disagree ; as ^an gobhlan-gaoiflie mar an 

* ceudn' do sholair nead dh'i fein' the swallow, too, hath pro* 
vided a nest for herself Psal. Ixxxiv. 3. 'GobhIan..gaoithe' 
a swallow^ is a masc. Noun, as appears by the masc. Article; 
but as it is the dam that is spoken of, the reference is made 
by the Personal Pronoim of the fem. gender .-^*Ta gliocaa 

* air a iireanachadh leis a cloinn' Wisdom is justified by her 
children^ Matt. xi. 19. <]l^liocas' is a masc. noun; but as 
Wisdom is here personified as a female, the regimen of the 
Possessive Pronoun is adapted to that idea (^e). See also 
Prov. ix. 1 — 3. In this sentence *Och nach b* i mhaduinn e' 
I^eut^ xxviii. 67. the former pronoun i is correctly put in 


(^e) This, however, do^s not happen invariably. Where the 
Sex, though specified, is overlooked as of small importance, the 
Personal or Possessi ve„ Pronouns JFoUow the Gender of the Ante* 
cedent. See 2 Sam. xii| 3. 

Chap. L] or stntax. 159 

the fern, gender, as referring to the fern, nonn tnadumn ; 
while the latter pron. e is put in the masc. gend. because 
referring to no expressed antecedent. 

If the Antecedent be a sentence, or clause of a sentence^ 
the Pronoun is of the 3d Pers. Sing, masculine ; as ^dh' ith 
^a bi caola suas na bi reamhra, agus cha n-aithnichteadh 

* orra e* the lean cattle ate up the fat cattle^ and it could not be 
known by them. 

If the Antecedent be a collective Noun, the Pronoun is 
of the 3d Pers. Plur. as ^thoir aithne do 'n t-sluagh, d' eagal 
' gu m bris iad asteach' charge the people lest they break in* 
£xod. zix. 21. 

An Interrogative combined with a Personal Pronoun, 
asks a question without the intervention of the Substantive 
verb; as *co mise?' who \am\ // *co iadna daoine sin? 
who \ari\ those men?' *cia i a' cheud aithne ?' which [w] the 
first commandment f In interrogations of this form, the noun 
is sometimes preceded by the Personal Pronoun, and some- 
times not; as ^co e am fear?' who \is^ the manf *co am 

* fear ?' what man f *Co am fear ?' is evidently an incom- 
plete sentence, like what man P in English. The ellipsis 
may be supplied thus ; ^co e am fear a ta thu ciallachadh \* 
who is the man whom you meant This example may b« 
abridged into another common interrogation, in which the 
Interrogative is immediately followed by the Relative ; as 
^co a ta thu ciallachadh ? who \is he\ whom you mean J ^ciod 

* a ta thu faicinn ? what \is it'] that you seel. 

In an interrogative sentence including a Personal Pro- 
noun and a Noun, as 'co e am fear sin V if the Noun be 
restricted in its signification by some other words connected 
with it, such as the Article, an Adjective, another Noun in 
the Genitive, or a relative clause ; then the Pronoun usual- 
ly follows the Gender of the Noun, or the Sex of the ob- 
ject signified by the Noun, if the Gender does not corres- 
pond to it ; as ^co e am fear a theid asuas ?' who is the man 

1 60 OF SYNTAX* [Part IIL 

tkai sbaU ascend f *co i am bourioftmich sia?' Mobo is that 

vHiman / ^cia i a' cheud aithne ?* which ii tht first cammandt 

—If the Noun be not se restricted^ the Pronoun is of the 

masculuiie gender ) as 'ciod e uchdmhacachd ?' wkat is adop" 

tknf *ciod « urnuigh?' what isfruyert (/) 


(f) I am aware of tlie angularity of asserting the grammati- 
cal propriety of such expressions as *ciod e uchdlxinacachd I 
ciod « Urnuigh?' as tha fioun* Sichdmhacacbd^ utnuigh' are 
known to be of the feminine Gender^ and as this assertion 
stands opposed to the respectable authority of the £ditor of the 
Assembly's Catechism In Gaelic, Edin. Vt^i^ where we read, 
*Ciod i urnuigh ?' &c. The following defence of it is offered 
to the attentive reader* 

In every question, the words which convey the interrogation 
must refer to seme higher genus or species ttian the words which 
express the subject of the qnery. It is in the choice tt the 
speaker to make that rcfference to aay genus or speeies he pleaselb 
If I ask ^Who was Alexander V the kiterrogative wb^ refers te 
the species man^ of which Alexander^ the subject of the query^ 
is understood to have been aA individual. Tne qUe^oA is eqiu« 
vatent to <What man was Alfficahder V^li I ask 'WhsA is Man >} 
the Interrogative wbskt refers to the genus of Existence ot Beings 
of which Nlan is considered as a subordinate genus or species* 
The question is the same with 'What Being is Man ?^— >I may 
also ask 'What was Alexander ?^ Here the Interrogative vohtA 
refers to some genus or species, of which Alemnder is conceived 
to have been an individual^ though tne particular genus intend* 
ed by the quenst is left to be gathered from the tenor of the 
preceding discourse. It Would be improper hotveVer toi aTf 
'Who is Man ?^ as the Interrogative r^ts te no liigher genus 
than that expressed by the word Man4 It is the same as u ona 
should ask 'What man is Man ?' 

In the question *What is Prayer V thd objeet of the querist is- 
to learn the meaning of the term Frdyer. The Interrogative 
whai refers to the genus of Existence, as in the question *Wha% 
' is Man ?' not to the word Prayer^ whioh is the subject of the 
query. It is equivalent to 'What is [that thing which is named} 
Prayer?' In those languages where a variety of gender is pre- 
valent, this reference of the Interrogative is more conspicuously 
marked. A Latin writer would say ' ^id est Oratio*?' A; 


* See a short Latin Catecfaiim at the end of Mr Ruddiman's Latin Rudi- 


Chap. I.] OF SYNTAX. . 16X 



As the verb has no variation of yonn correspondmg to 
the Person or Number of its Nominative, the connection 
between a Verb and its Nominative can be marked only 
bj its collocation. Little variety therefore is allowed in 
this respect. The Nominative, whether Noun or Pronoun, 


Frenchman, * Qu^ ^st-ce que la Priere ?' These questions, in a 
complete form, would run thus j * Quid est [id quod dicitur] 

* Oratio ?' * Qu' est-ce que [I'on appelle] la Priere ?' On the 
same principle, and in the same sense, a Gaelic writer must say, 
^Ciod c umuigh V the Interrogative 'Ciod e* referring not to 
*umuigh' but to some higher genus. The expression, when 
completed, is *Ciod e [sin de 'n goirear] umuigh ?* 

Is there then no case in which the Interrogative may follow 
the gender of the subject? — If the subject of the query be ex- 
pressed, as it often is, by a general term^ limited in its significa* 
tion by a noun, adjective, relative clause, &c. ; the reference of 
the Interrogative is often, though not always nor necessarily, 
made to that term in its general acceptation, and consequently 
must follow the gender of that term. Suppose the question to 
be * What is the Lord's Prayer ?* Here* the subject of the 
query is not Prayer^ but an individual of that species', denoted 
by the tenii prayer limited in its signification by another noui^. 
The Interrogative what may refer, as in the former examples^ 
to the genus of Existence j' or it may refer to the species Prayer^ 
of which the subject of the query is an individual. That is, I may 
be understood to ask either^ What is that thing whicd is called 
-the Lord's Prayer r or * What is that prayer which is called the 

* Lord's Prayer ?' A Latin writer would say, in the former sense, 

* Quid est Oratio Dominica * V in the latter sense, * Quaenam est 

* U^atio Dominica ?' The former o/ these expressions is reSLol« 
▼able into * Quid est [id quod dicitur] Oratio Dominica ?' the 
latter into * Quaenam [oratioj est Oratio Dominica ?'— The same 


jncnts, where many similar expressions occur ; as * Quid est fides f Quid est 

* Xesz ? Quid est Baptismus ? Quid Sacramenta ? &c. 

• $0 RiiddimaD,< Quid est Sacra Coena V 


162 , OF SYNTAX. [Part in. 

is ordinarily placed after the Verb j as Ha mi* / anif 'rug- 
' adh duine-cloinne' a man'-^hild is barn (g)> The Article 


diversity of expression would be used in French ^ ^ Qu' est-ce 

* que I'Oraison Dominicale V and * Quelle est l*Oraison Domi- 

* nioale V The former resolvable into * Qu' est-oe que [ron ap- 

* pejle] POraison Dominic? le V the latter into * Quelle [oraisonj 

* est POraison Dominicale ?^— So also in Gaelic, -' Ciod e Um- 

* uigh an Tigheama t* equivalent to * Ciod e [sin de *n goirear] 

* Urmiigh an Tigheama ?' or, which will occur oftener/* Ciod 

* i Umuigh an Tigheama ?' equivalent to * Ciod i [an umiugh 

* sin de 'n goirear] Umuigh an Tigheama ?* 

(g) The same arrangement obtains pretty uniformly in He- 
"brew, and seems the natural and ordinary collocation of the Verb 
and its Noun in that language. When the Noun in Hebrew is 
placed before the Verb, it will generally be found -that the 
Noun does not immediately connect with the Verb as the Nomi- 
native to it, but rather stands in an absolute state ^ and that it 
is brought forward in that state, by itself, to excite attention, 
and denotes some kind of emphasis, or opposition to another 
Noun. Take the following examples- for illustration : Gen. L 
1, 2. * In the beginning God created [t^^rrVx M^l in the natu^ 

* ral order] the Heaven and the Earth.' nn^Tt y*iMm j not 
< and the Earth was,' &c^ but * and with respect to the £arth, 
^ it was without form,' &c. Thus expressed in Gaelic ; ' agus 

* an talamh, bha e gun dealbh,' &c.^Gen. xviii. 33. * And the 

* Lord went his way [nin^ *]b^ in the natural order] as soon 
^ as he had left communing with Abraham/^' ^v; Oni^MI, not 
simply ^ and Abraham returned,' &c. b^t ^ and Abraham— he 

* too returned to his place.' In Gaelic, ^ agus Abraham, phill 

* esan g? a aite fein.' See also Num. xxiv. 25.— -Gen. iii. 12. 

* And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with 

* me, ^b tiinj Nirr she it was that gave me of the tree, and I didl 

* cat.'— Gen. iii. 13. * And the woman said,^^iM{^n wrr^rr^ not 
merely^ * the Serpent beguiled me,' but * the Serpent was th* 

* cause;, it beguiled me, and I did eat.'— Exod. xiv. 14. * Je^ 

* hovab — ^he will fight for you j but as for jfo«, ye shall hold 

* your peace.' This kind of emphasis is correctly expressed in 
the £ng. translation of Psal. Ix. 12. ^ for he it is that shall tread 

* down our enfemies.' Without multiplying examples, I shall 
only observe, that it must be difficult for the English reader 
to conceive that the Noun denoting the subject of a proposition^ 
when placed after its Verb, should be in the natural order J, 
and when placed before its Verb, should be in an inverted order 


Chap, L] • OF syntax:. 4($3 

or aa Adjective, is frequently placed between tb« Verb and 
its Nominative ; as Hbainig an uair' the ioi^r if corner 
^ithrisear'iomadh droch sgeul' many an evil tak wilt be 
told. Soi^aetimeSy but more rarftlj, girqumatances are ex- 
pre;ssed between the Verb and its Nominative ; as *rugadh 

* dhuinne, an diugh, ann am baile Dhaibhi, an Slanuighear^ 
there if horn to us^ this day^ in Da^id^s town^ the Saviour* 

The word denoting the object of the verbal action, can 
never, even in poetrj, be* placed between the Verb and ita 
Nominative, without altering the sense. Hence the ar« 
rangement in the following passages is incorrect. ^Ghabk 
domblas agus fiongeur iad^ they took gall and vinegar, Buch* 
Gael. Poems. Edin* 1767. p. 14. The collocation should 
have been *ghabh iad domblas*, &c. *Do chual e 'n cruin'ne- 

* c^' the world heard it, id. p. 15. ought to have been *dp 
^ chual an cruinne-c^ e'. So also ^do ghabb truaighe Ipsa 

* dhoibh' Jesus took pity on them^ Matt. ^i;x. 34. Irish vers. 
It ought to have been ^do ghabh losa truaj{he'| &c. (h} 

The Relatives 'a' wlio^ *nach' who not^ are always put be* 
fore the verb ; as ^am fear a thuit'^ the man wh$ feU\ ^ni 
^ feaf naeh dean beud', the man who will not commit aJiwU* 

Ixi poetry, or poetical style, where iuiversioB iaaliow^d^ 
the NooUnativc is somfetiiaes phuxed before thje Ver^ ; a^ 


of the words. To a person well aquainted with tiie Gaelic, this 
idiom IS familiar ^ and therefore it is the easier for him to ap« 
prehend the effect of such an arrangement in an]? other language* 
For waTit of attending to this peculiarity in the structui^e of the 
Hebrew, much of that force and emphasis, which in other lan- 
guages would be expressed by various particles^. but in Hebrew 
depend on the collocation alone, must pass unobserved and mi* 
felt. ' ' ^ 

(h) I am h^ijppy to be put right, in nay stricture on the above 
passage, by E.O'C. author of a Gaelic Grammar, Dublin, 1808 j 
who informs us that truaighe is here the Nominative, and Josa 
the Accusative case \, and that the meaning is not Jesy* toai/M^ 
•n them^ hv^tpity seisied Jesus for tbenu 

164 ' o;P SYNTAX. [Part III. 

Moimhneachd na talmhain ta 'n a laimh' in his hand is the 
depth of the earthy Psal. xcv. 4. 

* Oigh cha tig le clar 'n an comhdbaiV 

' No virgin with harp will come to meet them. 

Smith's Ant. GaL Poems, p, .285. 
^ Gach doire, gach coire» 's gach eas^ 
Bheir a' m' chuimhne cneas mo Ghraidh.' 
Mach grove f each dell, and eaqh waterfall^ will bring to my re^ 
membrance the form of my love. Id. p. 30. 
^ An la fin cha tig gu brkth, 
A bheir dearrfa mo ghraidh gu tuath.' 
^hat day pall never come^ which Jball Mng the fun-beam of my 
love to the North. Fingal. II. 192. 

* Am focail geilleam do Mhorlamh ; 
Mo lann do neach beo cha gheill/ 

In words I yield to Morla ; my fword to no living man fhcil 
yifld. Fing, n, 203. This inverfion is never admitted 
into plain difcourfe or unimpaiSoned narrative. 

In thofe Perfons of the Verb in which the terminations 
fupply the place of the Perfonal Pronouns, no Nominative 
is exprefled along with the Verb. In all the other Per- 
fons of the Verb, a Noun or a Pronoun is commonly ex- 
prefled as its Nominative. In fentences of a poetical ftruc« 
ture> the Nominative is fometimes, though rarely, omitted ; 
as *am fear nach gabh ^nuair gheibh^ cha 'n f haigh 'nuair s 
aill' the man who will not take when \he\ can get^ will not get 
when \he\ wifhes. 

^ A Ghama, cuim' a (heas ? a Ghuill, cuim^ a thuit ? 
Garnoy whyjtoodjl? Gaul^ why didft fall? 

Smith's Ant. Gal. Poems, p. 153. 

The Infinitive often takes ^before it the Nominative of 
the Agent 5 in which cafe the Prepofition 'do' is either ex- 
prefled or underftood before the Infinitive ; as ^feuchj cia 
* meud 7l mhaith, braithre do bhi n an comhnuidh ann 
^ fith !* behold^ how great a good it isy that brethren dwell in 
peace! Pfal. cxxxiii. i« % e mi dh' fhantuinn' 's an 
fheoil^ a ^^ feumaile dhuibhfe^ my abiding in thefiefb is more 


Chap, I.] ^ OF syntax; 165 

needful for youy Phil. i. 24.. 'Cha n'eil e iomchuidh finnc 
dh'' f h^gail focail De, agus a f hrithealadh do bhordaibh/ 
// is not meet that nvejhould leave the word of God^ and ferve 
tables. Afts, vi. 2. The Prepofition *do*, being foftened as 
ufual iilto ^a\ readily difappear^ after a Vowel \ as ^air fon 
^ mi bhi arls a llthair maiile ribh' by my being again prefent 
with you^ Phil. i. 26. (i) 



When in the fame fentence, two or more Nouns, appli* 
ed as names to the fame obje£t, flahd in the fame gram- 
matical relation to other words \ it fhould naturally be ex* 
pedted that their Form, in fo far as it depends on that re* 
lation, fhould be the fame ; in other words, that Nouns 
denoting the fame objeft, and related alike to the govern- 
ing word, fhould agree in Cafe. This accordingly happens 
in Gi^eek and Latin. In Gaelic, where a variety of form 
gives room for the application of the fame rule, it has been 
followed in fome inftances ; as ^Doncha mac Chailain mhic 
• Dhonuil' Duncan the fon of Colin the fon of Donald; where 
the words 'Chailain' and *mhic' denoting the fame perfon, 
and being alike related to the preceding Noun *mac' are on- 
that account both in the fame Cafe. It mufl be acknow- 
ledged, however, that this rule, obvious and natural as it is, 
has not been uniformly obferved by the fpeakers of Gaelic, 
For example ; inftead of ^mac Jofeiph an t-faoir' the fon of 
Jofeph the carpenter^ many would more readily fay *mac Jo- 
' feiph an faor: inftead of *thuit e le laimh Ofcair an laoich 

* chruadalaich' 

(0 This construction resembles that of the Latin Infinitive 
preceded by the Accusative of the Agent. 

I Mene desistere victam, 

Ncc posse Italia Teucrorum averteie rcge'm ? 

/ ^neid. I. 23. 




[Part III. 

dmiadalaich^ ie fdl by the band of Ofcar the Md bero^ it 
wedrd ralber be fiid ^thuit e Ic laimh Qfcair an laoch 
^ cruadabch . The latter of thefe two modes of txpteS&on 
may perhaps be defended en thr ground of its being ellipti- 
cal \ and the ^lUpGs may be supplied thus \ ^mac Jofeiph 
' £is e fifij an faor'^-^Haimh Ofcair [neadi is e] an laoch 
* cruadalach'. Still .it muft be allowed, in &vour of the 
rule in qucflion, that the obfervance of it ferves to mark 
the relation of the Nouns to each other^ which would 
otherwife remain, in psany inftances^ .doubtful. Thus in 
one of the foregoing examples, if we fhould rejeft the rule, 
and write 'mac Jo!(eiph an fkor^ ; it would be impoffible to 
know, from the form of the words, whether Jofeph or Ids 
iba were the cai'penter* 

The tranflators of the Scriptures into Gaelic, induced 
probaUy by the reafooaUenefs ami utility of the rule iznder 
Gonftderation, by the example of the moft polilhed Tongues^ 
and by the niage of the Gadic itfelf in fomie phra£es, have 
uiulbraily adhered to this rule when the leading Noun was 
in the Gentttre ; as Mo mhacaibh BharfiUai a' Ghileadaick' 
I JBongs, ii. 7* Vigh-chathair Dhaibhi athar' i Kings; ii. 
la. *Ao tfaaelsda Bheniamin am hrathar' Judg. xxL 6. Hg 
^ gabhail nan dar chloiche, eadhon chlar a' chO'cheangail^ 
Deittt. ix* 9* The ndb feems to have been di{beganied' 
wfaen the leading Noun was in the Dative. See i Kings, 
i. 25. Ruth, iv. 5. ASs, xiii. 33* 


UndBR this head is to be explained the Government 
of Nouns, of Adjeftivcs, of Verbs, of Prepofitions, and of 


Chap. IL] OF syntax/ 167 



One Noun governs another in the Genitive. The 
Noun governed is valways placed after that which governs 
it ; as ^ceann tighe' the btfid of a hoyfe or family ; 'fokis na 

* grelne' light of the fun ; ^bainne ghabhar' miJi of goats* 

The Infinitives of Tranfitive Verbs^ being themfelves 
Nouns^ (S^ Part I. Chap. V. p. — •) govern in like manner 
the Genitive of their objeft ; as *ag cur s\V Jiwing feed, *a 

* dh' f haicinn an t-fluaigh' to fee the people, 'iar leughadh 

* an t-foifgeir after reading the gofpel(h). 

Although no goo<l reafon appears why this rule, which is 
common to the Gaelic with many other languages, fhould 
ever be fet afide; yet it has been fet afide in ipeaking, and 
fometimes in writing Gaelic. 

1 • When the Noun governed does in its turn govern 
another Noun in the Genitive, the former is often put in 
the Nominative inftead of the Genitive cafe. The follow- 
ing inftances of this anomaly occur in the Gaelic Scriptures ; 
*guth briathran an t-fluaigh' inftead ef ^bhriathran' the voice 
of the nvords of the people^ Deut. v. 28. *do mheas craobhan 

* z gharaidh' inftead of *chraobhan' of thefiruit of the trees of 
the garden^ Gen. iii. 2. 'ag itheadh tighean bhantrach' for 
^thighean' devouring widows houfes, Matt* xxiii. 1 4. ^ag 
^ nochdadh obair an lagha' for ^oihrQ* Jhowing the work of 


(h) So in English, the Infinitive of a Transitive Verb- is 
sometimes used instead of the Present Participle, and followed 
by the Preposition of; as, * the woman was there gathering of 

* sticks,^ 1 Kings xvii. XO. 

■ some sad drops 

Wept at copipleting of the mortal sin* 

Farad. Lost. 

See more examples, Num. xiii. 25. 2Sam. ii. 21. 2Chron. xx% 
25. — XXXV. 14. Ezek. x&xix. 12. 

168 OF SYNTAX. [Part III. 

the law^ Rom* ii> 1 5' ^ag cuimhneachadh gun igur obair 

* bhur crcidimh, agus faothair bhur graidh' for *oibrc,' 

* faoithreach^ remembering without ceaftng your tvork of faith, 
and labour of hve^ 1 Theff. i. 3. 'trid full is fearta Chrioft' 
through the blood and merits of Chr'tjl^ Gael. Paraph. 1787. 
p. 38i. for 'trid fola Chrioft', as in Eph. ii. 13. *ag kiteach' 

* fliabh Shioin' for ^flcibh' inhabiting the hillofZion^ Pfal. ix. 
II. mctr. *air fon obair Chriofd', Phil. ii. 30. 1767. ac- 
cording to the ufage of the language ; but changed to 
*oibre*, in. Edit. 1796, to fuit the Grammatical Rule (I). , 
For the moft part however, the general rule, even in thefc 
circumftances, is followed ; as *guth fola do bhrathar* the 
voice of thy brother s blood ^ Gen. iv. 10. *amhainn duthcha 

* cloinne a Ihluaigh' the river of the land of the children "^frbis 
people, Numb. xxii. 5. 'a nigheadh chos fheirbhifeach mo 

* thigheama' to nuafh the feet of the fervants of my lord^ \ Sam* 
XXV. 41. 

2. Such exprei&ons as the following feem to be excep- 
tions to the rule 5- *dithis mac,* 2 Sam. xv. 27, 36. 
*ceathrar mac,' i Chron. xxi. 20. *leanabaibh mac,' Matt. ii. 
16.— In the following fimilar ihftances, the rule is obferved \ 
*dithis mhac,' Gen. xli, ^c. *dithis fhear/ 2 Sam. xii. i. 
*ceathrar fhear/ Afts, xxi. 23. 'ceathrar mhaigHdiona' 
Afts, xxi. 9. 

The fame anomaly takes place in the regimen of the In- 
finitive, arin that of other Nouns. Though an Infinitive 
be in that grammatical relation to a preceding Noun which 
would require 'its being put in the Genitive ; yet when it- 
felf alfo governs another noun in the Genitive, it often 
retains the form of the Nominative. The Infinitives 



' ("/) On the same "principle it i^, that in some compound 
words, composed of two Nouns whereof the former governs the 
latter in the Genitive, the former Noun is seldom itself put in 
the Genitive casci Thus *ainm bean-na-bainse' the bride'* s name; 
it would sound extremely^ harsh to say *ainm mna^na-bainse.^ 
*Clach ceann-an-teine% not 'clach cinn-an-tcine', the stone which 
supports a hearth fire. 

Chap. II.] OF SYNTAX. 169 

'naomhachadhi gnathachadh) brifeadh/ admit of a regular 
Genitive, 'naomhachaidh, gnathachaidh, brifidh.' In the 
following examples^ thefe Infinitives, becaufe they govern a 
fubfequent noun in the Genitive) are themfelves id the No- 
minative^ though .their relation to the preceding word na- 
turally requires their being put in the Genitive Cafe. * Tha 

* an treas aithne a^ toirmeafg mi-naomhachWi6 no mi- 
' ghnathachi7^£ ni fam bith^' 8cc. the third commandment for- 
bids the profaning or the abufing of any things &c. Aflem. Cat# 
Gael. Edin. 1792. Anfwer to Qt^^S* * Ged fhcud luchd- 

^ hriCeadh na h-aithne fo dol as/ &c. id. (^56. though the 
iranfgrejfors of this commandment may efcape^ &c. ' Cuis crath-%» 
' adh cinn is caf^id!^ beil/ Pfal. xxii. 7. as it is in the older 
editions of the Gaelic Pfalms. ' An deigh \t\x!^adh an 

* lagha/ after the reading of the Law, Afts, xiii. 15. * luchd 
^^ ciJLmadh uilc/ Rom. i. 30. (m) 


(m) These examples suggest, and seem to ^authorise a special 
use of this idiom of Gaelic Syiitax, which, if uniformly observed, 
might contribute much to the perspicuity and precision of many 
common expressibns. When a compound term occurs, made up 
of a l^oun and an Infinitive governed by that Noun; it often 
happens that this term itself governs another Noun in the Ge- 
nitive. Let the two parts of the compound term be viewed se. 
parately. If it appear that the subsequent Noun is governed 
by xht former part of the compound word, then the latter part 
should remain regularly in the Gepitive Cajie. But if the sub- 
sequent Noun be governed by the latter part of the compound 
word y then, agreeably to the construction exemplified in the 
above passages, that latter part, which is here supposed to be 
an Infinitive, should fall back into the Nominative Case. Thus 
'tigh*coimhfd an Righ' the King'* s store- house^ where the Noun 
*Righ' is governed by *tigh', the former term of the compound 
word 'y but 'tigh-coimb^od an ionmhais% John viii. 20. the house 
for keeping the treasure^ where 'ionmhais' is governed by *coimh- 

* ead% which is therefore put in the Nominative instead of the 
Genitive. So 'luchd-c6iimhid\ Matt, xxviii. 4. when no other 
Noun is governed; but 'fear*coimh^ad a^ phriosuin\ Acts, xvi. 
27, 36. where the last Noun is governed in the Genitive by 
'coimh^ad', which is thereforie put in the Nominative. So also 

* fearcoimh/d', Psal. cxxi. 3. but ^ feajr-coimh^ad Israelis Psal. 

Y cxxi. 

170 OF SYNTAX. [Part III. 

The Infinitive is not put in the Genitive, when preceded 
by a Pofleffive Pronoun, becaufe it is in the fame limited 
ftate as if it governed a noun in the Genitive Qafe i as, 
' a chum am marbh^dh 's na beanntaibk,' to kill them iff the 
mountains^ Exod. xxxii. not *marbh/zkih,' which is thft Cafe 
regularly governed by 'chum/ * Co tha 'g iarraidh do 

* mharbh^h ?* John, vii. 2o, not 'do mharbh^idh/ * Thug 
f iad leo e chum a cheus^^i^,' Matt^ xxvii. 31. * Chum an 
' cruinneachjrfA gu^cath,* Rev. xx. 8. (nj 

This coincidence in the Regimen of the Infinitive in two 
fimilar lituations, viz. when limited by a poflefliyc Pro- 
fioun, and when limited by a fubfequent Noun, fumxfhes 
no flight argument in fupport of the conffaii^tion defended 
above, of putting the Infin. in the Nom# cafe when itfetf 
governs a Noun in the Genitive ; for we find the Infin. is 
invariably put in the Nom« when limited in its figQification 
by a pofleff. Pronoun. 

When one Noun governs another hi the Genitive, the 
Article is never joined to both, f ven though each be limit- 
ed in its fignification ; as^ 'mac an righ' the /on of the king, 
not 'am mac an righ ;' *taobh deas a' bhaile^ the fouthjide of 
the town, not *an taobh deas a' bhaile* (oj. For the nioft 


cxxi. 4. Edin. 1799. *Tigh-bearr/iidh nam buachaillean^ de 
shearing house belonging to the shepherds ^ 2 King, x# 12, but 
•tigh-bcarttfdh nan caorach* tlie house for shearing the sheep. 
^Luchd-brathfii/dh an Righ' the King^s spies; but *luchd-brath'» 

* adh an Righ' the betrayers of the King. 'Luchd-mortaKih Hc- 

* roid' assassins employed by Herod ; but 'luchd-moit^rdh Eoin' 
the murderers "offohn, 

I am aware that this distinction hag^ bfeen little regarded by 
the Translators of the Scriptures- It appeared, however, worthy 
of being suggested, on account of its evident utility in point of 
precision \ and because it is supported by the genius and prac* 
tice of the Gaelic language^ 

C«^ For this reason, there seems to be an impropriety in 
writing 'chum a losgaidh^ 1 Cor. xiii. 3. instead of 'chum a 

* losgadh.' 

{p) The same peculiarity in the use of the Article takes place 


Chap. IL] OF SYNTAX. ' 171 

part, the Article is thus joined to the latter noun*^ Some* 
times it is joined to the former noun ; as, ^^a ceann tighe' 
iie head ^ tie family J ^an ceann iuil' the pilot ; but in fuch 
inftances ihe two nouns figure as one complex term, like 
paterfifmliasy rather than as two terms. The following ex- 
amples, in which the Article is joined to both nouns, feem 
to be totally repugnant to the Gaelic idiom : ^ cuimhneach- 
^ adh nan cuig aran nan cuig mile,' Matt. xvj. 9. ^ nan 

* feachd aran nan eeithir mile,' Matt. xvi. i o* (p) 

A Pofleflive Pronoun joined to the Noun governed ex- 
cludes, in like manner, the Article from the noun govern- 
ing; a$9 *barr-iall a bhroige* the latcbet of his Jhoe^ not 
•am barr-iall a bhroige ;' .^obair bhur lamh' the work of your 
hands t not 'an obair bhur lamh/ 

The Noun governed is fometimes in the Primary, fome- 
times in the Afpirated Form. 

Proper Names of the Mafculine Gender are in the Af- 
pirated Form J as, 'brathair Dhonuill' Donald^ s brother; 
%aigh Choluim' Columbas grave. Except when a final and 
an initial Lingual meet ; as, •clann Donuill' Donald's de- 
scendants ; 'beinn Deirg' Dargos hill. 

When both Nouns are Appellatives, and no word inter- 
venes between them \ the initial Form of the latter noun 



in Hebrew, and constitutes a striking point of analogy in the 
structure of the two languages. See Buxt, Thes* Gram* Heb, 
Lib. IL Cap. ^- . . . 

(^) This solecism 18 found in the Irish as well as in the Scot- 
t;i^ Craelic translation. The Manks translation has avoided it. 
In the Irish Version and in the Scottish Gaelic Version of 1767, 
a similar instance occurs in Acts, ii. 20. ^an la m6r agus oirdh- 

• eirc sin an Tighearna.' In the Scottish edition of 1706, the 
requisite correction is made by omitting the^first Article. It is 
omitted likewise in the Manks N. T. On the other hand, the 
Article, which had been rightly left out in the Edition of 1767, 
is improperly introduced in- the Edition of 1796, in 1 Cor. xi. 
27, *an cupan so an Tighearna.' It is proper to mention that, 
in the passage last quoted, the first article an had crept, by mis- 
take, into a part of the impression 1796t but was corrected in the 
fre^iaiuing part. 


172 OF SYNTAX, [Part III. 

follows^ for the moft part, that of an Adjective agreeing 
with the former notin. See p. 145, 146. 

Thus * d' a gharadh/iona, g' a gharadh/iona/ without' 
the Article, Matt. xx. i , 2. like ^ do dhuine iTtaith :' but 

* do 'n gharadhyAiona,' with the Article v. 4, 7. like * do 
' 'n duine m^th.' So we fhould fay * do 'n ard fhear- 

* r^iuil,' rather than ' do 'n ard f hear-nuil,' as in the title 
of many of the Pfalms. 

£xc£PT. If the latter Noun denote an Individual of a 
fpecies, that is, if it take the Article a before it in Englifh, 
it is put in the primary firm^ although the former Noun be 
feminine ; as, *suil raraid' the eye of a friend,, not * suil rAar- 

* aid,* like ' suil mibr-j *duais/aidh* a propheis re^bmrdp 
Matt. X. 4. not ^ duais^'/'aidh,' like ' duais niHot! ^ Chum 
' maitheanais /eacaidh,' Acts, ii. 38. fignifiesyor the retmffion 
ofaftn : rather ' chum maitheanais/^acaidh'^r the remtf" 

Jion ofjiw 



Adjcftives of fiilnefs govern the Genitive ; as, * Ian ut- 
mhainn'^// of dread^ Afts, ix. 6. * buidheach htiAli* fatisfied 
with meat. 

The firft 0)mparative takes the Particle 'na' than^ before 
the following Noun ; as, ' ni 's gile na an fneachdadh' 
whiter than the /now ,• ' b' f haide gach mios na bliadhna' 
each month feemed longer than a year. Smith s Anc» PoemSj 

P- 9- 

The fecond Comparative is conftrued thus \ * is feairrd 

mi fo' / am the better for this ; * bu mhifd' e am buille fin' 
he was the worfe for that blow ,• * cha truimid a' choluinn a 
ciair the body is not the heavier for its under/landing. 

Superlatives are followed by the Prepofition *de' or *dhe' 
rf; as * am fear a's airde dhe 'n triuir' the man who is talUfi 
ff the three, the talleft man of the threCf , 


Chap. IL] OF SYNTAX. 173 



A Tranfitive Verb governs its objcft in the Nominatire 
or Obje£live Cafe ; as, ^ mharbh iad an Righ' they killed the 
King, 'na buail mi' do not Jlrihe me. The objeft i$ com- 
monly placed after the Verb j but never between the Verb 
and its Nominative. [See Part IIL Chap. I. Seft. IV.] 
Sometimes the object is placed^ by way of emphafis, before 
the Verb ; as, ' mife chuir e rls ann am aite, agus efan 

* chroch e, me he put again in my place, and him he hanged^ 
Gen. xli. 13. * An teach agus a mharcach thilg c 's an 
'^ fhaifge' the horfe and his rider hath he cajl into the fea^ 
£xod« XV. I. 

Many Tranfitive Verbs require aPrepofition before their 
objefl 5 as, * iarr air DonulF dejtre Donald ; * labhair ri 
jyonuW ^eak to Donald; Mcig Je Donuir let Donald alone; 

* beannuich do DhoimlV falute Donald ; * fiofraich de Dhonuir 
enquire of Donald, 

* Bu was, requires the following initial Confonant to be 
dipirated ; as, . ' bu mhaith dhuit' it waif good for you ; * bu 
^ chruaidh an gnothuch' it was a hard cafe ; except initial d, 
and / which are not afpirated ; as, ' bu dual duit' // was 
natural for you ; ^ bu trom in eallach' the burden was he^vy ; 
' bu ghearr a lo, s bu dubh a fgeul'^or/ was hir cotir/e^ and 
fad was herfory. Smith s Anc, Poems. 



.. ' ' ' 

The collocation of Adverbs is for the moft part arbitrary* 
The Adverbs *ro, gle,' very, are placed before the Adjec- 
^(ives they modify, and require the following initial Confo- 



174 OF SYNTAX. [Part IIL 

nant to be afpirated; as, ' ro bhcag' very little j 'gle gheal' 
very white* 

The Negative 'cha' or *cho' not^ when followed by a 
word beginning with a Labial or a Palatal, requires the ini- 
tial Confonant to be afpirated; aS| ^ cha mhor e' it is not 
fgreat ; ' cha bhuail mi' / will notjirike ,- * cha chuala mi' / 
did not hear ; but an initial Lingual remains unafpirated ; 
as, ^ cha dean mi' / will not do^ ' cha tog c he will not raife^ 
* cha foirbhich iad' they will not pro/per* tf is inferted be- 
tween ^cha' and an initial Vowel or an afpiratedy ; as, ' cha 
n-e' it is not, * cha n-eigin' it if not necejptry^ * cha n-f haca mi' 
Ifaw not^ 

The Negative *ni' requires h before an initial Vowdl ; as, 
^ ni h*iad' they ar^ not, * ni h-eudar^ it way not. 




The Proper Prepofitlons *aig, air,' &c. govern the Da^ 
tive ; as, ^ aig mo chois' at my foot, ' air mo laimh' on mj 
hand* They are always placed before the word they go- 
vern. The following Prepofltions require the Noun go- 
verned to be put in the Afpirated Form, viz. * de, do, fuidh, 
fo, fa, gun, mar, mu, o, tre*' 'Air' fometimes governs the 
Noun in the Afpirated Form ; as, ^ air bharraibh fgiath na 

* gaoithe* on the extremities of the wings of the wind, Pfal. 
xviii. ic— ' Gun' governs cither the Nominative or Da- 
tive ; as, *gun chrioch* without end, Heb. vii. i6. 'gim 

* cheill* without under/landing, Pfal. xxxii/ p. * gun chloinn'. 
Gen. XV. 2- — ' Mar,' and ' gus' or * gu,' when prefixed to a 
Noun without the Article, ufually govern the Dative cafe ; 
as, * mar nighin' as a daughter, 2 Sam. xii. 13. * mair amh- 
ainnmhoir' Hie a great river, Pfal. cv. 41. *gu crlch mo 
^ ihaoghail fein' to the end of my life^time, Pfal. cxix. 33. 
xlviii. 1 0' But if the Article be joined to the Noun, it is 


Chap- II.] OF SYNTAX. 175 

governed in the Nominative ; as, * mar a' ghrian' Kh the 
sutty Psal. Ixxxix. 36, 37. * gus an sruth' to the stream, 
Deut. iii. is\ * gus a' chrioch* to the end, Hcb. iii. 6, 14. — 

* Eadsu:' governs the Nom. as, * eadar a' chraobh agus a* 

* chlach' between the tree and the stone. * Eadar/ when sig- 
nifying between^ requires the Primary Form ; as, < eadar 
' maighstir a^s muintirneach' between a master and a ser-» 
vant : when it signifies both^ it requires the Aspirated 
Form; 2iSy^eud9i shezn'SLgasbg^ both oklnndj^oung; 'eadar 
< fheara agus mhnai' both men and women^ Acts, viii. 12. 

The Prepositions * as, giis, leis, ris,* are used before the 
Monosyllables *an, am, a\* The corresponding Preposi- 
tions * a, gu, le, ri,* often take an b before an initial Vowel ; 
as, *a h-Eirin* out of Ireland; *gu h-ealamh' readily; *le 

* h-eagal' with fear, 

ThlB Improper Prepositions govern the following Noun 
in the Genitive; as, * air feadh na tire' throughout the land; 

* an aghaidh an t-sluaigh' against the people; * re na h-uine' 
during the time. It is manifest that this Genitive is govern- 
ed by the Noun 'feadh, aghaidh, r^,* &c. which is always 
included in the Preposition. See Part II. Chap. VII. 

Prepositions are often prefixed to a Clause of a sentence ; 
and then they have no regimen ; as, ' gus am bord a ghiulan* 
to carry the table, Exod. xiv. 2T. * luath chum fuil a dhort- 

* adh* swi/l to shed blood, Rom. iii. 15. Edit. 1767. 'an 

* deigh an obair a chriochnachftdh' after finishing the work. 



The Conjunctions *agus' and, *no' (^^ couple the Same 
Cases of Nouns ; as, ' air feadh chreagan agus choilltean' 
through rocks and woods ; ^ ag reubadh nam bruach 's nan 

* crann' 

176 OF SYNTAX. [Part IIL 

» • 

* crann' tearing the banks and the trees. When two or more 
Nouns, coupled bj a Conjunction, are governed in the Da- 
tive by a Preposition, it is usual to repeat the Preposition 
before each Noun ; as, ' air fad agus air leud' in length and 
in breadth ; ' 'n an cridhe ^n an cainte, agus 'n am beus' in 

' their heart, in their speech, and in their behaviour * 

^ Go' as^ prefixed to an Adjective, commonlj' requires 
the initial consonant of the Adj. to be aspirated; as, 'co 
^ mhaith' as good^ ^ co ghrinn' as fine. But sometimes we 
find ^co mot^ 'as great, ^ co buan' as durable, &cc. without 
the aspirate^ Sometimes the aspirate is transferred from 
the Adj. to the Conjunct, as, ^ cho beag' as little, for * co 
^ bheag*' In the North Highlands, an adjective preceded 
bj ^co' h commonlj pot in the Comparative fbvm ^ as, ' ca 
^ * miosa' as bad, * co /raise' as strong. 

The Conjunctions * mur' if not, * gii, gur' that, are always 
joined to the Negative Mood ; as, ^ mur 'eil mi' if I be not; 

* gvL robh e' that he was. Morn is often inserted, euphoniae 
causa, between < gu' and an initial* Consonant ; viz. tn before 
a Labial, n before a Palatal or a Lingual ; as, ^ gu-m faca 
< tu' that you saw ; ' gu-n dubhairt iad' that they said (g) 

The Conjunctions * ma' if, * o, o'n' because, since, are 
joined to the Pres. and Pret. Affirmative, and Fut. Sub- 
junctive ; as, * ma id, e^ if he be, * o'n tha e' since be is ; 'ma 

* bhuail e' if he struck ; ' o'n bhuail e' because be struck ; 

* ma bhuaileas tu' ifi/ou strike; * 6 bhitheas sinn' since we 
shall be. ' 

* Nam, nan* if, is joined only to the Pret. Subjunctive. 
Tlie initial Consonant of the Verb loses its aspiration after 


(^) The inserted m or n is generally written with an apos- 
trophe before it, thus *gu'in, gu'n.' This woi^ld indicate that 
some vowel is here suppressed in writing. But if no vowel ever 
stood in the place of this apostrophe, which seems to be the fact, 
the apostrophe itself has been needlessly and improperly intro- 

Chap. I L] OF sf NTAx. 177 

this Conjunction; as, *nam bithinn' if I were; ^nan tuit- 

* eadh a' chraobh' if the tree should fall. 

* Ged' although J is used before the Present and Preterite 
Affirmative, the Fut. Negative, and the Pret. Subjunctive ; 
as, * ged tha e' though he he; * ged bha mi* though I was; 

* ge do bhuail thu mi* though you struck me; ^ ged bhuail 

* thu mi* though you strike me ; * ged bheireadh e dhomh* 
though he should give me (r). 


(r) I much doubt the propriety of joining the Conjunction 
*ged* to the Fut. Affirm, as *£e do gheibh na h-uile dhaoine 

* oilbheum* though all men shcJl he offended^ Matt. xzvi. 33. It 
should rather have been 'ged fhaigh na h-uile dhaoine*, &c. 
The Fut. Subj. seems to be equally improper \ as 'ge do ghlaodh- 

* as iad rium* though they shall cry to me^ Jet. xi. 21. Edit. 1786. 
Rather 'ged ghlaodh iad rium*, as in Hosea, xi. 7. So also 
'ged eirich dragh, *s ged bhagair b^s* though trouble shall arise^ 
and though death shall threaten, Gael. Paraph, xlvii* 7. Edin. 
1787. See pag. 144. Note («). 








X HE Parts of Speech which are formed by derivation 
from other words are Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs. 
These are chiefly derived from Nouns and Adjectives, and 
a few from Verbs. 

L Nouns. 

Derivative Nouns majr be classed as follows, according 
to the varieties of their termination. 

1. Abstract 


Part IV.]' ' OF DERIVATION, &c. 179 

1. Abstract Noims in off formed Irom Adjectires or 
Nouns ; aiy from ^cewi* just, ^ceiirtjas'^lKifuv; from ^iomh* 
an' idkf vain^ ^omhanas' idknesif vamty ;'fxom ^caraid' a 

frUnd, *cairdcas' contracted for *caraidcas' frund^hip ; from 
^amhaid' an enemy^ ^naimhdeas' contracted fpr ^mhaid* 
eas' enmity. ^ 

2. Abstract Nouns in achd^ formed from Adjectives, and 
sometimes, tho' more rarely, from Verbs and Nouns ; as, 
frdm 'naomh' holy^ naomhachd* holiness ; from ^domhain' 
deepf 'doimhneacbd' contracted for Mombaineachd' depth ^ 
from *righ' a]iing, *rioghficbd' a kingdom ; ^coimhid' to keep, 
^coimb^adacbd* keeping ; *clachair' a mason, *clacbaireacbd' 
mason'Svorif ^gobhain' a smithy 'goibhneacbd* contracted 
for 'gobhaincaphd' iron^work^ or ratber the trade or occupU' 
tioM of a smithm 

3. Abstract Nouns formed from the genitive .of Adjec^ 
tives, by adding e ; as, from ^alP gen. 'doill' blind, ^doille' 
iUndness ; from ^goal' gen. ^giP white^ <gile' whiteness s 
from *leftsg' gen. *leisg' lazy, 'leisge* laziness ; ''tearq' gen. 
*tcire' rare^ teirce' rarity ; *trom* gen. ♦truim' heavy^ *truime' 
heaviness ; *truBgh' gen. *truaigh' unhappy, •truaigbe' misery* 
%asal' gen. 'uasail' nobk^ ^uasaile' contr. ^uaisle' or by me« 
tath. uailse' nobility. 

4. Abstract Nouns in ad, formed from the Comparative 
of Adjectives, and used in speaking of the degree of a qua«p 
lity; as, ^gilead' whiteness^ ^boidhchead' beauty^ 'doimhnead' 
depth , ^lugbad' smallness^ ^tainead' thinness -yXhtst, are con- 
strued with the Prepositions ^, air; as, *cha n-fhaca mi a 
samhuil air boidhchead' / iwue not seen her match for beauty; 
*air a lugbad' or 4' a lughad' however small it be. 

5. Nouns in air or oir, ach^ ichej derived, most of them, 
from nouns, and signifying persons or agents ; as^ ^lobair' 
a player on the pipe, from ^iob* a pipe; *clarsair' a player on 
the harp, from ^clarsach' a harp ; 'cealgair' et 'cealgoir' a 
a deceiver^ from ^cealg' deceit; 'sealgair' or 'scalgoir' ahunts" 



man^ from 'sealg' Hunting; 'marcach' a rider ^ from 'marc' a 
horse ; 'athach' a man of terror y a gigantic Jigurey from *atha' 
fecar ; *oibriche' a workman^ from *obair* wori ; Sgeiilaiche' 
a reciter oftaiesy from *sgcul* a tak ; *ceannaiche^ a merchant^ 
from *ceannaich' to hty (s), 

6. Diminutives in an, and in ag or og^ formed from 
Nouns or Adjectives ; as, *lochan' a small laie^ from *loch* 
a lake ; from *braid' tbeft^ *bradag' a thievish girl ; from 
*ciar' dark-coloured^ *ciarag' a little dark^coUmred creature^i>^ 
These Diminutives are often formed from the Genitive of 
their Primitives; as, from 'feur' gen. *feoir*' jgr^ jj, *feor- 
nean* a pile of grass; *moir gen. •muill' chojffl *mnillcan' 
a particle of chaff ; *folt' gen. *fuilt' 4iwr, ^fiiiltean' a xiVi^^ 
hair; *clag' gen. 'cluig* a hell^ *cluigean' a little belli *guar 
gen. 'guail* coal, ^guailnean* a cinder; *smiir' gen. *smuir' 
dusty smuirnean' a particle of dusty a mote; ^Ibimh* pbtmagey 
^cloimhneag' a small feather^ a fake of snow. 

Some Nouns are formed in any which are not Diminn- 
tives ; as, from *lftb' to iend, *liban' a how ; from *btiaiP 
tO'heaty threshy ^buailtean* a beater^ or thresher, applied to 
that part of the flail which threshes out the grain. 

7* CoHective Nouns in ridh os riy derived from Nouns 
or Adjectives ; as, from '6g' i/oungy 'oigridh* youth, in the 
collective sense of the word ; from 'mac' a son, %iacruidh' 
sons, young men, Psal. cxlviii. 12. (t) from *laoch* n hero, 


(j) The terminations air, oir, seem from their signification as 
well as form, to be nothing else than *fear* man, in its aspirated 
form *f hear.' From these terminations arc derived the Latin 
terminations or, 'orator, doctor,' &c. arius, 'sicarius, essedarius,' 
&c. the French ^i/r, 'vengeur, createur,' &c. aire, *commissairc, 
notaire,' &c. ier, 'chevalier, charretier,' &c. the English er^ 
*maker, lover,* &c. ary, 'prebendary, antiquary,' &c. eer, 'vo- 
' lunteer/ &c. 

(/) 'Timcheal na macraidhe' beside the young men, Lhuyd, 
O'Brien, yoc. 'timclieal.' This passage proves 'macraidh' to be 

a singular 


♦laochruidh' a hand of berois^ Psal. xxix. 1. Macfitrlan's 
Paraph, vi. 15. from 'ceoP music, *ccolrai<ih* the muses, A. 
Macdonald's Songs, p. 7. from 'cos' Utttfooty ^coisridh' in- 
fantry, a party on foot. M'lntjre's Songs, Edin. 1768. 
p. 110. from ^gas' a lad, 'gasradh' a hand of domestic at'* 
tendants, O'Brien's Ir. Diet. voc. <gas ; eachradb, each- 
ruith' cafoalrif, Fingal. IV. 299. Carthon, 59.— This ter- 
mination is probably the Noun 'ruith' a troop. See Lhujd 
et O'Brien, in voc. C»^ 

8. Nouns in ach^ chiefly Patronymics, formed from Pro- 
per Names, thus; from ^Donull' Donald^ is formed 'Donull- 
ach' a man of the name of Macdonald; from <3rriogar' Gre-* 
gor^ <3rriogarach' a Macgregor; so ^Leodach' a Macleo4^ 
^Granntach' a (xranty &c. from 'Albainn' Scotland^ Albann- 
ach' a Scotsman; from 'Eirin' Ireland^ 'Eirineach' an Irishm 
man. These Nouns form their Plural regularly, 'Donull- 
aich, Leodaich, Albannaich, Eirinich.' So the following 
GentHe Nouns, which occur in the Gaelic Scriptures, are 
regularly formed from their respective Primitives, ^Partuich' 
PartMansy ^Medich* Medes, ^Elamuich' Z/emoii^x; Acts,ii. 9. 
^Macedonaich' Macedonians, 2 Cor. iz. 2, 4. See also Gen. 

XV. 19, 20, 21. Exod. zziii. 23, 28. (x) 

9. Collective 

a singular Noun of the fern, gender ; not, as might be thought, 
the rlural of 'mac' So 4aochruidh, madraidh»' &c. may rather 
be considered as collective nouns of the singular Number than 
as Plurals. 

(«) The same termination, having the same import, is foiind 
in the French words * cavalerie, infanterie,' and in the English 
* cavalry, infantry, yeomanry.'' 

(x) In the Gaelic N. Test, the Gentiie Nouns IC«(iy^i#^, Ttt7<tt* 
T4M, £^f0-4«i„ aretendered * Corintianaich, Galatianaich, Ephesian- 
' aich.^ Would it not be agreeably to the analogy of Gaelic 
derivation to write * Corintich, Galataicfa, £pfaesich,' subjoining 
the Gaelic termination alone to the Primitive, rather than by 
introducing the syllable an, to form a Derivative of a mixed and 
redundant structure, partly vernacular, partly foreign ? The 
word * Samaritanaich,' John, iv. 40. is remarkably redundant^ 



182 cgp DERIVATION, [Part IV- 

0* Collective Nouns in acA; as, from MuiUe' a Ua^^ 
*duilleach* foliage ; *giuthas* fitf 'giuthaaach' a, fir wood; 
'iughar' ^^Wy %gharach' a yew copse; 4adh' a deer, /fiadh* 
ach' deeTy a herd of deer ; ^crion' diminutive^ ehrunk^ *crioa« 
ach' decayed ^Joood* 

11. AI>J£CTI?£S# 

1. Adjectives in ach^ formed generally from Nouns ; as, 
from <f irinn' truths *firinneach* true^faUbful; from *8umit* 
glefi^ ^sunntach' cheerful; ^crkdh* fain^^criii^ufiW paufuJ; 
^togradh' desire, togarrach' willing^ desirous. 

2. Adjectives in mhor or or, derived from Nouns ; as, 
from ^adh' felicity^ 'adhmhor' happy, blessed; from ^feoiP 
^h, ^feolmhor' carnal; from ^neart' strength^ ^eartmhor' 


3. Adjectives in ail derived from Nouns ; as, from 'fear' 
maUf ^fearaiF manful; from *caraid' a friend, 'cairdail' coQtr* 
for ^araidail'y^Tfiui!^ ; from hiamhaid* an enemy, ^naimhd- 
ail' contr. for %amhaidail' hostile \ from ^siird' akriems^ 
^surdair alert (y). 

4. A few Adjectives in ^a or ^^ derived from Nouns ; 
as, Kraelta' belonging to the Gael; 'Eireanda' Irish; ^Romh- 
anta' Roman; Kirk, 'fireanta' righteous. Matt, xxiii. 35. 

' HI. 

having no fewer than three Gentile Tenninations. From Xemm* 
ffim b formed, agreeably to the Greek mode of derivation, Z^« 
fut^au. To this the Latins added their own termination, and 
wrote Samaritanii which the Irish lengthened out still fiuther 
into ^Samaritanaich.' The proper Gaelic Derivation would be 
'Samaraich,' like 'Eiamaich, Medich, Persich/ &c. The Irish 
'Galil6anach' is, in the Scottish Translation 1790, properly 
changed into KlaliMach,' Acts, v. 37. 

(y) The termination ail is a contraction for 'amhuil' like. In 
Irish this termination is generally written full, 'fearamhuil,* 
'geanamhuil,' &c. From the Gaelic termination ail, is derived 
* the 



Vert>s in tchj for the most part Transitive, and implying 
causation; derived from Nouns or Adjectives; as, from 
•gear white^ *gealdich* to whiten ; Hiaomh' holjf, ^aomhaich' 
to sanctify ; ^ruinn' rouhd^ ^cruinnich' to gathir together; 
^lamh' ihthandf 4aimlisich* to bandk; ^cuimhne' memory^ 
'cuimhnich' to renumber : 2l few are Intransitive ; as> from 
*crith' /r«wor, 'criothnuich* to tremble; ^fdntx* feebkj *fannu- 
ich* to faint. 


All compound words in Gaelic consist of two component 
parts, exclusive of the derivative terminations enumerated 
in the preceding Chapter. Of these component parts, the 
former may be conveniently named the Prepositive, the 
latter the Subjunctive term. It sometimes happeus, though 
rarely, that the Subjunctive term also is a compound wx>rd, 
which must itself be decompounded in order to find out the 

In compounding words, the usual mpde has been, to pre- 
fix to the term denoting the principal idea, the word de- 
noting the accessory idea, or circumstance by which the 
signification of the principal word is modified. Accord- 
ingly we find Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs, modified by 
prefixing to them a Noun, an Adjective, a Verb, pr a Pre- 
position • 

In forming compound words, a Rule of very general ap- 
plication is, that when the Subjunctive term begins with a 


the Latin termination alis^ 'fatalis, hospitalism' &c. whence 1^ 
English <?/, *final, conditional,' &c. See pag. 35. NoteCy^. 

r« • 


Consonant^ it is aspirated. From this Rule, however, are 
to he excepted, 1> Words heginning with s followed hy a 
mute, which never admit the aspirate ; 2. Words beginning 
with a Lingual when the Prepositive term ends in n ; 3. A 
few other instances in which there is an euphonic agree- 
ment between the Consonants thus brought into apposition, 
which would be violated if either of them were aspirated. 

These observations will be found e;Lemplified in the fol- 
lowing Compounds. 

I. Words compounded with a Noun prefixed. 

Nouns compounded with a Noun, 

*Beart* dress, e^ipage ; •ceann' head; *ceann-bheart' head^^ 

dress^ armour for the head* 
*F^inn' a ring; *cluas* the ear; ^luas-fhainn' an ear'-ring. 
KyzisLT' a distemper ; ^cnM shaiing; 'crith-ghalar* distemper 

attended with shakings the palsy, 
*Oglach' a servant,; *bean' (in composition *bati') a woman; 

^anoglach' a female servant, 
^kidh* a prophet ; ^'btLn^fhzidh* a prophetess* 
^Tigheam' a lord; ^baintigheam' a lady. 

Mjectives compounded with a Noun. 

*Gear white ; 'bian' the sim ; 'biangheaP white-skinned. 
'Lom' bare ; *fcas' the^oo^ ,• ^caslom' barefoot. 

^ceann* the head; 'ceannlom' bare-Juaded, 
'Biorach' pointed^ sJiarp ; ^cluas* the ear ; ^luasbhiorach* 
having pointed ears. 

Verbs compounded with a Noun. 

•Luaisg' to rock or toss ; Honn' a wave ; 'tonn-luaisg* to toss 
on the waves, 



Chap. IL] AND COMl»oftiTiaw. 185 

'Sleamhnuich' to slide ; ^cvlV the back; ^cul-sleamhnuich* to 

^Folaich' to hide; 'feall' deceit; ^feall-fholaich^ to lie in 


II. Words compounded with an Adjective prefixed^ 


NoUns compounded with an Adjective. 

*Uisge' water ; *fior' true^ genuine : *fioruisge' spring-water. 
Airgiod* silver ; *beo' alive ; *beo-airgiod' quick-silver. 
^Sgolt a crack ; 'crion* shrunk j decayed; 'crionsgolt* ajissure 

in wood caused by drought or deccy. 
'Criochan* bounds^ regions ; 'garbh* rough ; *garihchriochan' 

rude mountainous regions. 

Adfectives compounded with an Adjectvoei 

*Donn' brown ; *dubh' black ; *dubh-dhonn' dark-brown. 
fGorm' blue ; ^dubh' black ; dubh-ghorm* dark'blue. 
♦Briathrach* (not in use) from *briathar' a word; *dea8?f 

ready; 'deas-bhriathrach' of ready speech^ elotpiuH. 
^Seallach' (not in use) from 'sealladh' sight; *gSQX* sharps 

*geur-sheallach* sharp-sighted. 

Verbs compounded with an Adjectvoei 

*Ruith' to run; *dian* keen^ ^ager; >dian-niith* to r^ eager^ 

*Lean' Xxi follow ; *geur* sharps severe ; *geur-lean' to perse^ 

*Buair to strike; *trom' heavy ; ^trom-buail* to smite sorif 

discomfit. ' i» 

♦Ceangail' to bind; *dluth* chse; dliSth^cheangail* to Urtd 


A a IIL WoU 

186 OF DEBiVATioy, [Part IV. 

III. Words compounded with a Verb prefixedt 

*Axt* a stone; 'tarruing' to draw ; *tarruing-art* load-sione^ 
*Suil* the eye ; *meair to beguik ; *meall.shuil* a kering eye. 

IV. Words compounded with a Preposition. 

•Radh' a saying; *roimh' before; *roimh-radh* preface^ pro^ 

'Solus* tight ; %idar* between ; 'eadar-sholus' hvi^ligbt. 
*Mi&ich' to explain ; ^eadar-mhlnich' to interpret. 
^earr' to cut ; timchioU' about ; HimchioU-ghtart' drcum- 

^hoV to wound ; ^roixxkh* through ; Hrcimh^iot* to :^ab, pierce 

Examples of words compounded with an inseparable 
{'reposition areialreadj given in Part II. Chap. VII. 

Compound Nouns retain the gender of the principal 

Noutts in their simple state. Thus Hrrith.ghalar' palsy^ is 

masculine^ because the principal Noun Ki^izr* distemper, 

is masculine ; although the accessary Noun ^crith' by which 

^galar' is qualified, be femitiine. So ^cls-mhaor' is masc* 

though 'cis' be a fem. noun, Luk. xviii. 11. ^ds-mheasadh* 

ought also to be masculine, Acts, v. 37.-— Except Nouns 

compounded with 'Bean' woman^ which are all feminine^ 

though the simple principal Noun be masculine; because 

the compound word denotes an object of the female sex ; 

asy'^lach' a servant j masc. but 'banoglach' a maid^erwmi^ 

fern, 'caraid' ajriendj masc. ^bancharaid' a female frintd^ 


Gpmpound words are declined in the same mamter aa if 
tibcj were uncompounded. 




In writing compound words, the component parts arc 
sometimea separated by a hyphen, and sometimes not. 
The use of the hyphen does not seem to be regulated by 
any uniform practice. In the case of two vowels coming 
in apposition, the insertion of a hyphen seems indispensible ; 
because, by the analogy of Gaelic orthography, two Vowels, 
belonging to different syllables, are scarcely ever placed 
ne^Kt to each other without some mark of separation (ss). 
Thus * so-aomsidh' mH^i/ itduced, profwse ; ^ ao-iomchair' 
ioxify €arrkd; ^ do^innsidb' diffictdt to. be told^ and not 

* soamaidh^ doinnsddh/ ^c. without the hyphen. 

It was formerly remarked, -Fart L that almost all Gaelic 
Polysyllables are accented on the first syllable. When, in 
pronouncing compound words, the accent is placed on the 
first syllable, the two terms appear to be completely incor<« 
porated into one word* When, on the other hand, the ac* 
cent is placed, not on the first syllable of the Compound, 
but on the first syllable of the Subjunctive term ; the two 
terms seem to retain their respective powers, and to prodnco 
their effect separately ; and instead of being incorporated 
into one word, to be rather collaterally connected* A rule 
may then be derived from the prcMiunciatioo, for the use of 
the hyphen in writing Compounds,- viz. ^ to insert tho 

* hyphen between the component parts, when the Preposi- 
' tive term is jiot accented.^ Thus it is proposed to write 

* aineolach' ignorant^ ^ antromaich* to exaggerate^ ^ comhradh' 
emversatioHf ^ dobheart' a had action^ * soisgeul' Go3ptl^ 
*. banoglach' a nuddservcmty &c. without a hyphen; but to 
write ^ an-fhiosrach' unac^amtedy.^ ban-f hiosaiche' afemah 

finune^Ulkr^ ^ co-f hieagarach* ^ofr/i^nfM[f , ' so^f haicsiii^ 


{%) Two or three exceptions from this rule occur ; 4b the 
Plurals M6e' gods^ 'mnai^ women, 'lai' days. But these are si> 
irregular in their £onn as weU as spelling, that they ought rather 
to be rejected altogether, and thetr place supplied by the C|pt* 
mon Plurals Miatl^n, mnathan, lathan or lathachan.^ 

1 88 OF DERiVATioK, [Part IV. 

easily seen^ &c. with a hyphen (a). By this rule, a corre-- 
spondence is maintained, not only between the writing and 
the pronunciation, but likewise between the written l^n^ 
guage and the ideas expressed by it. A complex idea, 
whose parts are most closely united in the mind, is thus 
denoted by one undivided word ; whereas an idea composed 
of parts TROtt loosely connected, is expressed by a word, 
whereof the component parts are distinguished, and exhibit- 
ed separately to the eye. Thus also the Gaelic scholar 
would have one uniform direction to follow in reading, vix. 
to place the accent always on the first syllable of an undi« 
Tided word, or member of 8 word., If any exception be 
allowed^ it must be only in the case already stated of two 
vowels coming in apposition, as ^ beo-airgiod' quicksiher. 

Let it be observed that, according to this rule, an Adjec- 
tive preceding a Noun can never, but in the case just men- 
tioned, be connected with it by a hyphen. For if the ae- 
cent be wholly transferred firom the Noun to the Adjective^ 
&en they are to be written as one undivided word ; as, 
^ garbhcbriochan' highlands ; but if the accent be not so 
transferred, the Adjective and the Noun are to be written 
as two separate words , as * seann duine' an old man^ ^ deagh 
f chomhairle'^ooi advice^ ^ droch sgeul' a badtak^ 

It not unfrequently happens that two Nouns^ whereof th^ 
one qualifies the meaning of the other, and connected by 
the common grammatical relation of the one governing the 
other in the Genitive, come through use to be considered 
as denoting only one complex object. The two Nouns, in- 
this case, are sometimes written together in one word, and 
t]^us form a Compound of a looser structure than those 
which have been considered. Such are * ceann-cinnidh' the 


{a) As if we should write in English *impious, impotent,? 
without a hyphen \ but ^im-penitent, im-probable,' with ^ 


head of a tribe or clan^ * ceann-tighc* the head of a famUy^ 
^ ceano-feadhna' the leader of an army^ * fear-turuis' a trameU 
ler^ * luchd-faire* watchmen, * iobairUpheacaidh' a sin^offer^ 
ingy * urlar-bualaidh' a threshing-floor^ ' fear-bainse' a bride" 
grootn^ ^ crith-thalmhain' an earth-quake, * crios-guailne^ a 
shoulder-belt, Sec. In writing compound Nouns of this de« 
scription, the two Nouns are never written in one undivided 
word, but always separated by a hyphen* It comes to be 
a question however, in many instances of one Noun govern- 
ing another in the Genitive, whether such an expression is 
to be considered as a compound term, and the words to be 
cdnnected by a hyphen in writing ; or whether they are ta 
be written separately, without any such mark of composi- 
tion. An observation that was made in treating of the Go* 
vernment of Nouns, may help us to an answer, and furnish 
an easy rule in the case in question. It was remarked 
that when one Noun governed another in the Genitive, the 
Article was never joined to both ; that for the most part, it 
was joined to the Noun governed, but sometimes to the 
Noun governing ; that in the latter case, the two Nouns 
seemed to figure as one compound term, denoting one com- 
plex idea. If this last remark hold true, it may be laid 
down as a rule, that in every instance of a Noun governing 
another in the Genitive, where the Article is or may be 
prefixed to the governing Noun^ there the two Nouns ought 
to be connected by a hyphen in writing ; otherwise, not. 
Thus we can say, without impropriety, * an ceann<feadhna' 
the commander^ ^an luchd-coimhid' the keepers ; and the 
Nouns are accordingly considered as Conipoundsj and writ- 
ten with a hyphen. But it would be contrary to the usage 
of the language to say ' am muUach craige' the top of a rock, 
* an t-uachdar talmhain' t/ie surface of the ground. Accord- 
ingly it would* be improper to write a hyphen between the 
Nouns in these and similar examples. 


190 OF DERIVATION, &c* [Part IV. 

The different effects of these two modes of writing, with 
or without the hyphen, is very obserTsble in such tnstt&oes 
as the following : ^ ainm diithchs' ths name pfa cmttify^ as 
Scotland, Argyle, Sec. ^ ainm*duthcha* a cowtnf namej or 
patrtmytmc^ as Scotsman, Highlander, &c. ' daon Donuill« 
Dimald^s ckiUrm; * olann-DonuiU' tbe Macdwaldi^ 

Though few have exerted themselves hitharto in ezplaiii* 
<ing the structure of the Gaelic language, in respect of its 
inflections, construction, and collocation ; this cannot be said 
to be the case with regard to Etymology, Much has been 
attempted, and something has been done, toward analysing 
single ^ vocables, particularly names of places. But this 
analysis seems to have been too often made, rather in a way 
of random conjecture, than by a judicious regard to tbe 
analogy of Derivation and Composition. The passLOQ for 
analysing has even induced some to assert that all true 
Gaelic Primitives consist of but one syllable ; that all Po^ 
lysyllables are either derived or compounded ; and tibore« 
fore that there is room to search for their etymon. This 
seems to be carrying Theory too far. It appears a fruidess, 
and rather chimerical attempt, to propose a system of diree« 
tions by which all Polysyllables whatever may be reserved 
into component parts, and traced to a root of one syllable. 
All I have thought it necessary to do, is to methodise and 
exemplify those general principles of Etymology which are 
obvious and unquestioned ; and which regulate the compo. 
sitioq and derivation of those classes of words, whereof tho 
analysis may be traced with some probability of success. 






From an Addnss to the Soldiers ofia Highland Regiment^ by 

D. Smith, M. D« 

X HEID an deadh Sbaighdear gu h-aobhaeh suilbhetf 
an dail gach tuiteamais a thig 'n a chranndiur. Ach V e 
a's nos do 'n droch Shaighdear a bhi gearan 's a' talacb air 
gach Isdmh ; beadaidh ri Unn socair, is diombach ann eiric 
caoimhneis -, lag-cbridheach ri h-am cruachais^ agus diblidh 
ri h-uchd feuma. 

In EngKsht 

The good Soldier will advance, with spirit and cheerfiil« 
sees, to any service that falls in his way. But it is the 
practice of the bad Soldier to be complaining and grumbling 
on all occasions ; saucy in time of ease> and peevish in re« 
turn for kindness ; faint-hearted under hardships^ and feeble 
in eucountering exigency. 


ij^i ikERCISES IN R£AI>In6,' 


Tbeid. 3. per« sing. Fat* AiHrm« of the irregular Ver9 
Racbj ♦ gb.^ 

jin» nom. sing, of the Article an^ ^ the.' 

Deadh. An indeclinable Adjective, always placed faeforc( 
its Noun, 

Shatghdear. nom. sing, of the nias. noun Saighdear^ * a sol- 
dier,' in the aspirated form, because preceded bjr the 
Adj. deadh* Gram. p. 157. 

Gtt. A proper Preposition, ' to, for.* 

Aobhach* An Aject. of the first Declension, ^joyous,' ha- 
ving an h before it, because preceded by the Prepos. 
gu; Gramm. p. 1,15. Gu h-aobbacby ' joyfully, 
cheerfully,' an adverbial phrase; Gram. p. 119. 

Suilbkear. An Adject. ^ cheerful.' Gu is to be supplied 
from the former phrase ; gu suilbbear^ * cheerfully^' 
ah adverbial phrase. 

An ddiL An improper Preposdtibn, * to meet, to face, to 
encounter ;' made up of the proper Prep, ann^ * in,* 
and the Noun daily * meeting.' Gram. p. 137. 

Gach. An indeclinable Adj. Pronoun., ' each, every.* 

Tuiteamais. Gen. sing, of the mas. noun tuiteamas^ / an oe» 
currence, accident,' governed in the gen. case by the 
improp. ^prepos. an dail ; Gram. p. 175. derived 
from the Verb tuitj Infinitive tuiteamj * to fall^ 

A* nom. sing. Relative Pronoun, * who, which.' 

Tbig. Fut. Aifirm. of the irregular Verb tbtg^ ' come.' 

^N. contracted for ann^ a proper Preposit. * in.' 

A* Possessive Pronoun, * his.' 

Cbrannckur. mas. Noun, * a lot ;* governed in the dat. by 
the Prepos: ann ; in the aspirated form after the ad-* 
ject. Pron. a, * his.'— compounded of crann^ ' a lot,' 
and cur^ * casting,' the Infinitive of the Verb cufrj 
* to put, cast,' 

^ Ach. 


Ach* Conjunction, * but.' Hcbr* ^K. 

'•?. for w, Pres. indie, of the Verb w, * I am.' 
'*S e a'*s^\\ is [that] which is.' 

Nos. Noun masc. * custom, habit.* 

Do. Preposit. * to.' 

urf«, the article, * the.' 

Drocb. indeclinable Adject, * bad ;' always placed before 
its Noun. 

Shaighdear. mas. Noun, * Soldier ;' governed in the dative 
by the prepos. * do; in the aspir. form after the ad- 
ject, droch. 

A hhu for do bbi or do bbitb Infinit. of the irregular Verb 
bij * to be.' 

Gearan. Infin. of the obsolete Verb gearain^ * to complain,' 
ag being understood ; ag gearan equivalent to a pre- 
sent Participle, ' complaining.' Gram. p. 95. 

'iS. for agus^ conjunction, * and.' 

A^ talack, for ag talacb, * complaining, repining ;' Infin. of 
the obsolete Verb talaicb^ ^ to complain of a thing 
or person.' 

Air. Preposit. * on.' 

Gach, Adject. Proni indeclin. * each, every. 

Laimb. dat. sing, of the fem. Noun Idmb^ ^ a hand ; go- 
verned in the dat. by the prepos* «ir, * on.' Air 
gach laimb^ * on every hand.' 

Beadaidh, Adject* * nice, fond of . delicacies, saucy, petu- 

Ri. Preposit. ' to, at.' 

Linn. Noun fem. * an age, period, season.' Ri Hnn^ ' du- 
ring the time of any event, or currency of any pe- 
riod :' ri linn Fbergfatis^ * in the time, or reign of 
Fergus :' gu faigheamaid sitb r' ar Itnti^ * that we 
may have peace in our time.' 

Socair, Noun fem. * ease, conveniency j governed in the 
gen. by the Noun linn. 

Bb Is. 


Is, for agus^ conjunct* * and.' 

Diombacbj or diumach. Adject. ' displeased^ indignant ;' de- 
rived from the Noun diom or dium^ ^ indignation.' 

Aim. Preposit. governing the dat. ^ in.* 

Eiric, Noun femin. ^ requital, compensation )' governed in 
the dat. by the prep. ann. 

Caoimhneis. Gen. sing, of the mas. Noun caoimhnecu, ' kind- 
ness ;' governed in the gen. by the noun eiric ; deri- 
ved from the adject, caom/i^ * gentle, kind.' 

Lag'ckndheach, Adject.^ faint-hearted ;' compounded of the 
adject, lagy * weak/ and cridhe^ the * heart.' 

Ri. Prcpos. * to, at.' 

Am. Noun masc. ^ time ;' governed in the dat. case by the 
prepos. ri, and preceded by h ; Gram. p. 175. 

Cruachais, gen. sing, of the masc. Noun cruachas^ * hard- 
ship, strait ;' governed in the gen. by the noun am ; 
compounded of the adject, cruaidh^ * hard,' and cas^ 
* danger, extremity.' 

Agus. Conjunct. * and.' 

Dzhlidh. Adject. * feeble, silly.' 

Ucbd. Noun mas. ' breast, chest ;' hence it signifies * an 
ascent, a steep ;' in the dat. case, preceded by Ap 
after the prepos. ri : ri b-^uchd, ' in ascending, 
breasting, encountering, assailing.' 

Feuma. ger< sing, of t^e noun mas. feum^ ^ necessity, exi- 
gency ;' governed in the gen. by the noun ucbd. 

Extract from an old Fingalian tale or legend. 

Dh' imich Garbh mac Stairn agus Dual a dh' fhaicinn 
Fhinn agus a threun f heara colgach, iomraiteach ann an 
gniomharaibh arm. .Bha Fionn 's an am sin 'n a thigheadas 
samhraidh am Buchanti. 'N an turns d'a ionnsuidh, ghabh 
iad beachd air gach gleann agus faoin mhonadh, air gach allt 
agus caol choirean. Ghabh iad sgeul de gach coisiche 
agus gach fear a thachair 'n an coir. Ann an gleann nan 



cuach agus nan Ion, chunnaic buth taobh sruthain ; chaidh 
asteach, dh' iarr deoch j dh' eirich ribhinn a b' aluinne 
snuadh a dh' f hailteachadh an turuis le sith. Tbug i biadh 
dhoibh r'a itheadh, dibhe ri 61 ; dh' iarr an sgeul le cainnt 
thlk. Bhuail gaol o a suil an Garbh borb^ agus dh' innis 
cia as doibh. ** Thainig sinn o thlr nan crann, far an 
Honor sonn — ^mac righ Lochlainn mise— m' ainm Garbh 
nam b' aill leat— esan Dual, o thir nam beann, a thuinich 
ann Albainn o thuath — a ghabhail cairdeis gun sgath agus 
aoidheacbd o 'n ard righ Fionn, sud fath ar turuis a chiabh 
na maise— ciod am bealach am buail sinn ? seol ar cos gu 
teach Fhinn, bi dhuinn mar iul, is gabh duais."— -'^ Duais 
cha do ghahh mi riamh, ars an nighean bu bhlaithe suil 's 
bu deirge gruaidh ; *' cha b' e sud abhaist Theadhaich 
nam beann eilde, 'g am bu lionor daimheach 'n a thalla, 'g 
am bu trie tathaich o thuath — ni mise dhuibh iul." — ^Gu 
gleann-sith tharladh na fir ; gleann an trie guth feidh is 
loin ; gleann nan glas charn is nan scor ; gleann nan sruth 
ri uisg is gaoith. Thachair orra buaghar bho, is rinn 
dhoibh iul ; thug dhoibh sgeul air duthaich nan creag, air 
fir agus air nmaibh, air fas shliabh agus charn, air neart 
feachd, air rian nan arm, air miann sloigh, agus craobh- 
thuinidh nam Fiaon. 

In English. - 
Garva the son of Stamo and Dual, went to visit Fingal 
and his brave warriors, renowned for feats of arms. Fingal 
was at that time in his summer residence at Buchanti. On 
their journey thither, they took a view of every valley and 
open hill, every brook and narrow dell. They asked in- 
formation of every passenger and person that came in their 
way. In the glen of cuckoos and ouzles they observed a 
cottage by the side of a rivulet. They entered; asked 
drink; a Lady of elegant appearance arose and kindly 
bade them welconie. She gave them food to eat, liquor to 
drink. In mild speech she inquired their purpose. Lovo 


from her eye smote the rough Garva, and he told whence 
they were. ** We are come from the land of Pines, where 
maoy a hero dwells — ^the son of Lochlin's king am I—my 
name is Garva, be pleased to know— my comrade is Dual, 
from the land of hills, his residence is in the north of 
.Albion. To accept the hospitality and confidential Mend- 
ship of the mighty prince Fingal, this is the object of our 
journey, O Lady fair (a) ; say, "by what pass shall we 
shape our course ? direct our steps to the mansion of Fingal, 
be our guide, and accept a reward." — " Reward I never 
took,'* said the damsel of softest eye and rosiest cheek ; 
** such was not the manner t)f [my father] Tedaco of the 
hill of hinds; many were the guests in his hall, fre- 
quent liis visitors from the North — I will be your guide."- 
The chiefs reach Glen-shee, where is heard. the frequent 
voice of deer and elk ; glen of green mounts and cliff's ; 
glen of many streams in time of rain and wind. A keeper 
of cattle met them, and directed their course. He gave 
t}iem information concerning the country of rocks ; con- 
cerning its inhabitants male and -femde ; the produce 
of moor and mount ; the military force ; the fashion of 
the armour ; the favourite pursuits of the people j and the 
pedigree of the Fingalians.— — 

Extract from Bishop CarsuelV Gaelic translation of the 
Confession of Faith, Forms of Prayer^ %Sc, used in the re- 
formed Church of Scotland ; printed in the year 1567- 

(From the Epistle Dedicatory,) 

Acht ata ni cheana is mor an leathtrom agas anuireasbh- 
uidh ata riamh orainde gaoidhil alban & eireand, tar an 
gculd eile don domhan, gan ar gcanamhna gaoidheilge do 
chur agclo riamh mar ataid agcanamhna & adteangtha 
fein agclo ag gach uile chinel dhaoine oile sa domhan, & 
ata uireasbhuidh is mo ina gach uireasbhuidh oraind, gan 

(a) O beautiful ringlet. 


an Biobla naomhtha do bheith agclo gaoidheilge againd^ 
marta se agclo laidne agas bherla agas ingach teangaidh eile 
osin amach^ agas fos gan seanchus arsean no ar sindsear do 
bheith mar an gcedna agclo againd riamh, acht ge ta cuid 
eigin do tseanchus ghaoidheal alban agas eireand sgriobhf 
tha aleabhruibh lamh, agas adtamhlorgaibh fileadh &c 
oUamhan, agas asleachtaibh suadh. Is mortsaothair sin re 
sgriobhadh do laimh, ag fechain an neithe buailtear sa 
chl6 araibrisge agas ar aithghiorra bhios gach en ni dha 
mhed da chriochnughadh leis. Agas is mor an doille agas 
andorchadas peacaidh agas aineolais agas indtleachda do 
lucht deachtaidh agas sgriobhtha agas chumhdaigh na 
gaoidheilge^ gurab mo is mian leo agas gurab mo ghnath- 
uidheas siad eachtradha dimhaoineacha buaidheartha 
bregacha saoghalta do cumadh ar thuathaibh d^dhanond 
agas ar mhacaibh mileadh agas ama curadhaibh agas f hind 
mhac cumhaill gona f hianaibh agas ar mhoran eile nach 
airbhim agas nach indisim andso do chumhdach, agas do 
choimhleasughagh, do chiond luadhuidheachta dimhaonigh 
an tsaoghail dfhaghail doibhf6in, ina briathra disle D6 
agas slighthe foirfe na firinde do sgriobhadh, agas dheach- 
tadhy agas do chumhdach. 

English Translation. 

[From the Report of the Committee of the Highland 

Society of Scotland, appointed to inquire into the 

nature and authenticity of the Poems of Ossian.] 

But there is one great disadvantage which we the Gaeil 

of Scotland and Ireland labour under, beyond the rest of 

the world, that our Gaelic language has never yet been 

printed, as the language of every other race of men has 

been : And we labour under a disadvantage which is still 

greater than every other disadvantage, that we have not the 

Holy Bible printed in Gaelic, as it has been printed in 

Latin and in English, and in every other language ; and 


also that we have never jet had any account printed of the 
antiquities of oiu: country, or of our ancestors ; for though 
we have some accounts of the Gaeil of Scotland and Ire« 
land, contained *in manuscripts, and in the genealogies of 
bards and historiographers, yet there is great labour in 
writing them over with the hand, whereas the work which 
is printed, be it ever so great, is speedily finished. And 
l^reat is the blindness and sinful darkness, and ignorance 
and evil design of such as teach, and write, and cultivate 
the Gaelic language, that, with the view of obtaining for 
themselves the vain rewards of this world, they are more 
desirous, and more accustomed, to compose vain, tempUng, 
lying, worldly histories, concerning the Tuatb de dannan^ 
an4 concerning warriors and champions, and Fingal the son 
ti Cumhaly with his heroes, and concerning man j others 
which I will not at present enumerate or mention, in order 
to maintain or reprove, than to write and teach and main- 
tain the faithful words of God, and of the perfect way of 
truth (h). 

From the preface to a metrical Version of the Book of Psabns 
in Gaelic J by Mr Robert Kjrk, Minister of the Gospel 
at Balquhidder ; printed in the year 1684. 

Ataid na Psalma taitneamhach, tarbhach: beag nach 
xnion-fhlaitheas Ian dainglibh^ Gill fhonnmhar le ceol 
naomhtha. Mur abholghort Eden, lionta do chrannaibh 

(b) The above is the passage so often referred to, in the con- 
troversy concerning the antiquity of Ossian's Poems. It was na- 
tural enough for the zealous Bishop to speak disparagingly of 
any thing which appeared to him to divert the minds of the 
people from those important religious Truths, to which he 
piously wished to direct their most serious attention. But what- 
ever may be thought of his judgement, his testimony is decisive 
as to the existence of traditional histories concerning Fingal and 
his people 5 and proves that the rehearsal of those compositions 
was a common and favourite entertainment with the people 
throughout the Highlands, at the time when he lived. 


brioghmhoire na beatha, fie do luibhennibh iocshlainteamh- 
ail, amhluidh an leabhar Psalmso Dhaibhioth, ata na liagh- 
ftis ar uile anshocair na nanma. Ata an saogkal & gach 
bc6 cbreatuir da bfuil ann, na chlarsigh ;*an duine, se is 
Clairseoir & duanaire, chum moladh an mor-Dhia mirbh« 
uileach do sheinn; & ata Daibhidh do ghna mar fhear 
doD. chuideachd bhias marso ag caoin«chaint gu ceolmbar 
ma nard-Ri* — . — —- Do ghabhas mar chongnamh don 
obairsiy dioghlum ughdairidh an uile chail, ar sheannds, 
phriomh-chreideamh &c eachdardha na nGaoidheal, sgriobh- 
ta & cl6-bhuailte : achd gu ba reula iuil &. soluis dhamh^ 
bridh na nSalih fein. Anois maseadh a Chomharbadha ro 
chaomhy ata mar phlaneidi dhealroidh ag sdiurughadh na 
ngcorp iochdardha gan mhonmar, is deaghmhaise dhaoibh 
an tsaot&airse a sgrudadh & a ghnathughadh gu neimhf hiat, 
gan gbuth ar bheiginmhe & neimhnitheachd an tsao- 
thairigh. Griosam oraibhse a Uaisle, & a^ Thuatha char- 
thanacba araon, gun bheith mur thacharain ar luaidrean a 
nunn & a nail go sbailpe breigi ; achd le gcroidhibh daingne, 
dosgartha, deagh-f hreumhaighte, druididh re Firinn, Ceart, 
& Ceannsachdy mar fhuraileas na psalma: Ata clu & 
tarbha a nsdriocadh don choir ; call &c masladh a ntuitim le 

Imthigh a Dhuilleachain gu dan, 
Le Dan glan diagha duisg iad thall ; 

Cuir failte ar Fonn fial na bFionn, 

Ar Gharbh chriocha, 's Indseadh gall. 

In English, 

The Psalms are pleasant and profitable. A church re- 
sounding with sacred melody, is almost a little Heaven full 
of angels. As the Garden of Eden, replenished with trees 
of life of potent eificacj, and with medicinal plants, so is 
this Book of the Psalms of David, which contains a remedy 
for all the diseases of the soul. The world and every 



living creature It contains are the Harp ; man Is the Harper 
and Poet, who sings the praise of the great wonder-work- 
ing God ; and David is ever one of the companj who are 
thus employed *in sweetlj and tunefully discoursing about 
the Almighty King. -».-«-. I was assisted in this work 
by culling from authors of every kind, who have treated of 
the ahtient manners, the primlti^ religion, and the history 
of the Gaels, both In manuscript and in print : but the star 
and light by which I steered was the sense of the Psalms 
themselves. Now then, my very dear Colleagues, who as 
shining luminaries guide the inferior bodies, it becomes 
you to. examine and to use this work candidly, without re- 
garding the meanness and insignificancy pi the workman. 
I beseech you, men of high and of low degree alike, that 
you be not, like weak silly creatures, tossed to and fro by 
false conceits ; but with firm, resolute, well-established 
hearts, adhere to Truth, Justice, and Temperance, as these 
Psalms exhort. There Is honour and profit In complying 
with what Is right, loss and disgrace In declining to what Is 

Little Volume, move boldly on ; 

In pure godly strains awaken yonder people ; 

Salute the hospitable land of the Fingalians, 

The highland regions, and the Isles of strangers (c). 

(c) 1, e. the Hebrides. 


• t' 


C. Stewart* Printer, Edinburgh. 


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takan from the BuHdiii^